No home comfort, O's hand it to scuffling Sox

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No home comfort, O's hand it to scuffling Sox

Friday, April 29, 2011
Posted: 10:37 p.m. Updated: 11:46 p.m.

CHICAGO - Matt Wieters is starting to figure things out at the plate, and that's not good news for opposing pitchers.

The Orioles' catcher homered and drove in four runs Friday night as Baltimore beat the Chicago White Sox 10-4 in the series opener.

WATCH: GM Williams remains optimistic

Wieters hit the ball well in his first two at-bats, but found himself 0 for 2 with two fly outs when he came to bat in the sixth inning.

With a 3-0 count and a runner on, Wieters delivered a two-run shot off of Chicago starter John Danks to give Baltimore a 5-3 lead.

"Matty had a lot of yardage on his fly balls, he finally got a hold of one," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's in a good spot right now."

Wieters doubled in two more runs in a five-run seventh to help the Orioles put things out of reach.

"3-0 might be your best chance to get a fastball and get something straight," the 24-year-old catcher said. "I probably should have taken it."

Starter Jake Arrieta (3-1) pitched five innings for the win but was pulled early due to right hip soreness, though he said after the game the injury was not serious.

"Physically I didn't feel good tonight. I wanted to stay in but they made the call," Arrieta said. "You're going to have those days. I had to battle."

Arrieta gave up three runs in the second inning before settling down and keeping the White Sox in check. He gave up five hits and two walks, striking out two.

The loss was the 13th in the last 16 games for Chicago, which slipped to 10-17 overall.

"It's frustrating, there's no other word for it," said Danks, who fell to 0-4 after giving up five earned runs on eight hits. "We're all putting the work in and there's no reason why it's not going our way.

"There's still plenty of time to bounce back in it." Danks added. "(But) if we go too much longer, it isn't early ... We need to turn around quick."

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended by Major League Baseball before the game after an ejection and derogatory comments made on Twitter earlier in the week. Bench coach Joey Cora managed in his place.

The White Sox opened a 3-0 second inning lead as A.J. Pierzynski lined a 2-0 pitch from Arrieta to right for a two-run home run. With one out, Mark Teahen doubled and scored on Juan Pierre's bloop single to left.

Danks gave up a pair of third inning runs, first on a one-out RBI single by Brian Roberts that scored Mark Reynolds. Derrek Lee's two-out single to right then scored Robert Andino.

Luke Scott tied it at 3 in the third with a homer to right, his fourth of the season.

Wieters gave the Orioles a 5-3 lead in the sixth with his fourth homer.

Brent Lillibridge hit his second home run in the sixth. He lined a 1-1 pitch off reliever Clay Rapada to left-center to trim the Oriole lead to 5-4.

Danks left in favor of reliever Jesse Crain after six innings. He gave up five earned runs on 8 hits, walked one and struck out three.

The Orioles sent 11 batters to the plate in a five-run seventh. They loaded the bases and Crain walked in one run with two out before being relieved by left-hander Chris Sale. Wieters greeted Sale with a double to right that scored two runs for a 8-4 lead.

Roberts then singled home another run.
NOTES

Chicago right-hander Jake Peavy pitched 5 23 innings in a rehab start at Charlotte on Friday, giving up three runs and one home run while striking out eight. He's been on the disabled list recovering from surgery to repair of detached muscle in his side. ... Baltimore's Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero have batted 1 through 4 in each game to date. The last time the Orioles had the same 1-4 batters through the first 23 games was in 2004 ... The White Sox unveiled a plaque saluting longtime TV broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, now in his 26th season with the team.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Under-the-radar Reynaldo Lopez impressing White Sox: 'He's got some stuff'

Under-the-radar Reynaldo Lopez impressing White Sox: 'He's got some stuff'

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- He maybe doesn't receive the same hype as some of his peers, but the White Sox think Reynaldo Lopez deserves plenty of attention.

A highly-touted prospect for two seasons now, Lopez took a big leap forward in a 2016 season that resulted in two promotions, including a trip to the big leagues.

While Michael Kopech and Lucas Giolito have garnered much of the attention, Lopez, who was acquired with Giolito in the Adam Eaton trade, is right on their heels if not equal. Lopez -- who produced a 3.21 ERA in 19 minor-league starts last season and struck out 42 batters in 44 innings in the majors -- is rated the No. 31 prospect in baseball by Baseball America and 38th by MLB.com.

"He's looked good from the get-go," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "The bottom line is we like all three of them. I didn't hear a lot (about him). When people are asking me questions it's usually about Giolito and Kopech. I'm not sure why because he's a gifted kid. He's got some stuff."

Lopez, 23, already has pitched in 11 regular season games (six starts) and made a playoff appearance. He earned those outings by excelling in a season that began at Double-A Harrisburg. Two seasons after he put up outstanding numbers at Single-A, Lopez dominated the Eastern League with 100 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings and 3.18 ERA. He attributes his success to calming himself down in game situations.

"I just kept my focus in the game," Lopez said through an interpreter. "Before, I thought a lot about things and I couldn't think. And then I realized to keep my focus on the game. Sometimes if someone hit me or something, my mind got stuck in that moment. But then I understood you have to have a short memory and just let the things that are happening (be) in the past and focus on what's happening."

Lopez, 23, said he has taken the same approach to handling his trade to the White Sox. The right-hander admits he was shocked at first when he heard he was traded by the Washington Nationals, who signed him for $17,000 in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic.

But the more he thought about it, Lopez realized how good of an opportunity he has in front of him with the rebuilding White Sox. The club intends to try Lopez out as a starter --- there's debate among scouting analysts whether he's meant for the bullpen or rotation --- at Triple-A Charlotte this season. Asked what he prefers, Lopez said he's a starter.

And rather than try to impress the club by overthrowing a fastball that MLB.com graded 70 on the 20-80 scale, Lopez has worked on location early in camp. Those efforts haven't gone unnoticed by Cooper and manager Rick Renteria.

"Lopez is a guy who maybe goes under the radar a little bit, but when you see his bullpen work, he's pretty clean, pretty efficient," Renteria said. "He hits his spots."

Through four throwing sessions, Cooper said he likes how Lopez has located his fastball and curveball. Cooper thinks the changeup, which is the lowest graded of his three pitches (45 out of 80), is where the most work is needed. But Cooper is pleased with how Lopez has worked in the bullpen and batting practice and looks forward to seeing how it carries over once the exhibition season begins.

Lopez likes how he has fit in with the White Sox through the first week and a half. An aggressive pitcher by nature --- "I like to get ahead in the count," he said --- Lopez has tried to work down in the zone in the early part of camp. He said that was one of his main takeaways from pitching in the majors.

"I learned a lot from that experience," Lopez said. "I learned how to pitch. It's not just throw hard. You have to locate your pitches and be smart. I think that was the most important thing for me, from that experience."

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with executive vice president Ken Williams

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with executive vice president Ken Williams

GLENDALE, ARIZ -- Ken Williams acknowledges that this is the first time as an executive that he's ever been a part of a rebuild.  After realizing their go-for-it attitude for more than a decade had run out of steam, the White Sox front office decided it needed to look in the mirror, take a step back, and start anew. It began this offseason with the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, and will continue into this season and likely next season.

No longer involved in the day-to-day running of the White Sox, Williams believes he has found the right balance as the team's executive and vice president, utilizing his strengths in scouting and player development while overseeing things as Hahn reshapes the organization from top to bottom.

How does this dynamic work between Williams and Hahn? Williams goes in-depth on this subject and many others in our White Sox Talk Podcast conversation.

Among the highlights:

Working relationship with Rick Hahn: "The relationship has been the same and consistent since the very beginning.  We're constantly talking.  I'm not going to BS you and say that we don't have these conversations. I just think that a certain point in time, you just have to say here is your responsibility and mine is over here. I have to respect the fact that this is what you want to do. I'm only going to express my interest to a point so that you can come to your own decision without my influence and then we're getting to brass tax.  Most times than not, he'll express, 'Hey, I need to know what you think. But until that time you've got to give people the space to do a job as they see fit, and to plot a course as they see fit."

Trading Chris Sale: "Contrary to popular belief, we have enjoyed a great relationship over the years. There was obviously a little blip in that part of it and I've always understood him because I was a little bit like that when I was younger too.  It was very often a couple days later we'd visit and laugh about a couple things but also in a serious manner.  he's one of the best in the game.  How do you trade one of the best pitchers in the game and not feel some remorse about it?  On the other end of the spectrum we got what we think are special pieces that will be with us for quite a while assuming good health. And you can envision them being part of a championship team.  We got to the point where we couldn't envision that particular group that we had be a part of a championship team and that's what it's about."

Possibly trading Jose Quintana: "I have not been presented with anything that has been recommended by Rick that he wants to do. So in terms of closeness, we've bantered some things around, but Jose Quintana is a very, very special pitcher. I'm sure if something comes up where it's consistent with what we've done thus far then I'm sure Rick will put it in front of both Jerry and I.  But until that time, I can't say that anything has been close or relatively close."

His hopes for the White Sox: "My only goal at this point in my career is to help bring another championship to Chicago and to Chicago fans, watch Rick Hahn walk across the stage to receive an Executive of the Year award and watch Rick Renteria accept the Manager of the Year Award.  Then I will consider this a job well done. If any of those things don't happen, then it won't be.  I sincerely feel that in my heart."