CHICAGO – Reynaldo López has been much better than he was in the first half of the season, when he was 4-8 with a 6.34 ERA.
The White Sox’s right-hander was 5-4 with a 3.38 ERA after the All-Star break heading into Wednesday night’s start against the Royals, and López threw a one-hitter in a brilliant complete-game effort his last time out
Sept. 5 at Cleveland.
“At the end of the day, his stuff is really, really good,” manager Rick Renteria said. “If he executes he has a chance to do really well. Do we scratch our heads sometimes? Absolutely.”
López didn’t have it in the Sox’s 8-6 loss against Kansas City at Guaranteed Rate Field, giving up six runs on nine hits and one walk in 42/3 innings. All of the Royals’ runs off López came on homers, two-run shots from Jorge Soler and Adalberto Mondesi followed by Bubba Starling’s solo home run.
“I felt good,” López said through an interpreter. “I felt strong, and I think that backfired. I felt stronger than usual, and I tried to do too much. I wasn’t able to execute.”
López has been keeping the ball in the park for much of the second half, but the right-hander has now given up 31 home runs on the season.
“The theme is probably center cut,” Renteria said. “He had good stuff but wasn’t locating at all. He was out and over the center of the plate.”
Eloy Jiménez carried the Sox’s offense with a three-run homer in the first inning and an RBI groundout in the sixth. José Abreu hit a two-run homer in the eighth, increasing his American League leading RBI total to 114.
Coaching changes? The Sox usually wait until the end of the season to make coaching switches, but Renteria is expected to return in 2020 and he believes his staff also will be back.
“We haven’t had our conversations about anything moving forward, but I believe we will,” said Renteria, who is signed through at least next season. “If there is any change coming, you will all know what happens, if it happens. But all our guys do a great job.”
Road to recovery: After retreating to the clubhouse Tuesday in his first game back after returning from rotator-cuff surgery, Renteria made it through Wednesday night’s game against the Royals.
Renteria was feeling well enough to come out of the dugout and argue with home-plate umpire Dan Bellino, who ejected James McCann for arguing balls and strikes from the bench.