White Sox prospect Reynaldo Lopez pitches six scoreless innings in loss to Giants

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Reynaldo Lopez pitches six scoreless innings in loss to Giants

GLENDALE, Ariz. — You might say that Reynaldo Lopez has responded well to his first dose of adversity with the White Sox.

The pitching prospect delivered his best outing of what has been a very productive spring with six scoreless innings at Camelback Ranch on Monday afternoon. Lopez struck out four and only allowed two hits, though the San Francisco Giants rallied to defeat the White Sox 3-2. The performance lowered Lopez's spring ERA to 3.72.

"The (starts) before were good, but this one was the best because I was able to execute all of the work that I've been putting in during my preparation," Lopez said through an interpreter. "All of the things I've been working on with (pitching coach Don Cooper), trying to move more to the middle of the (rubber), trying to locate my pitches in the right spot — all of those things I was able to execute today, and today was by far my best one."

Acquired along with Lucas Giolito and Dane Dunning in the Adam Eaton deal, Lopez had a rough start his first time out for the White Sox on Feb. 28, allowing five earned runs in 1 1/3 innings at the Cincinnati Reds. 

Cooper has since moved Lopez — who despite pitching 44 innings last season for the Washington Nationals had never been to big league camp — over to the middle of the rubber from his former position in the far right corner.

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The adjustment has afforded Lopez better command and improved results. Lopez has a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings over his last four starts, striking out 14 batters and walking just four. Though he'd like to make the team, Lopez said he'd have no trouble accepting an assignment to the minors given the promise he's seen in his performance.

"That wouldn't be a disappointment because I've been taking advantage of this opportunity," Lopez said. "This is my first spring training with a big league team, and I've been trying to do my best and learn from all of the guys and the coaches too. If I'm not with the team, I will be working hard in the minors because I know I can make it to the majors."

Peter Bourjos tripled and scored a run in the loss. Adam Engel and Nick Delmonico had the only other hits for the White Sox.

Corey Luebke pitched a scoreless inning for the White Sox to lower his ERA to 1.04. Michael Ynoa pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the loss.

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

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White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

PHOENIX -- The red-hot White Sox ran into Zack Greinke on Monday night.

He cooled them off in a hurry.

Greinke struck out 12 hitters and Daniel Descalso blasted a three-run home run off Miguel Gonzalez as the Arizona Diamondbacks sent the White Sox to a 5-1 loss in front of 18,333 at Chase Field. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the White Sox, who had scored 24 runs in their final two games against the Seattle Mariners.

“(Greinke) keeps the ball down out of the zone a lot,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s kind of enticing. He keeps the ball in the hitter’s area and it ends up falling out. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to try to get him up. Our approach was to try to make him throw a lot of strikes. He ended up hammering the strike zone early and then finally he just came into a groove.”

Descalso’s three-run shot off Gonzalez was one of two pitches the White Sox right-hander would have liked back. After Gonzalez walked Chris Owings with two outs in the fourth inning, his only free pass of the night, he left the curveball over the middle and Descalso deposited it in the right-center field stands to break a scoreless tie.

He also left a pitch up to Paul Goldschmidt in the sixth inning and the All-Star first baseman ripped it for a solo shot.

But overall Gonzalez rebounded from his previous two starts when he walked nine batters. He was sharp for three innings as he faced one over the minimum. He just missed to Owings in the fourth, which brought up Descalso.

Gonzalez allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits in five innings.

“You see what happens when you walk guys,” Gonzalez said. “That wasn’t in a good situation to walk the guy. You have to keep grinding, keep making my pitches. Really two pitches were the ones that hurt me tonight. A lot of positives. Nothing to worry about. Keep working hard and things are going to go my way.

“Sometimes things don’t go your way. Those two pitches, if I take those back, you never know. It’s a different ballgame.”

Not only did Greinke strike out a dozen hitters, he limited the White Sox to four hits in 8 2/3 innings.

Omar Narvaez had two hits, the first coming after Greinke opened the game by retiring seven straight batters. Leury Garcia homered off Greinke with one out in the fifth inning to break up his bid for a shutout.

It was quite the turnaround from when the White Sox bashed Yovani Gallardo and Chris Heston on consecutive days in Seattle. The White Sox scored a combined nine first-inning runs in winning three of four against the Mariners.