López pitches into 9th, White Sox beat Tigers 7-1
(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
By JOHN JACKSON
CHICAGO (AP) Reynaldo Lopez is hoping his strong finish to a disappointing season can be a preview of better days ahead.
Lopez tossed five-hit ball into the ninth inning, Eloy Jimenez and Danny Mendick homered and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-1 on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.
Jimenez, who began the season in the minors, has 31 homers on the season.
Saturday's twinbill opener was a makeup of a game postponed on July 2. The teams were supposed to play a doubleheader on Friday, but both games were rained out. The second of those was canceled, so each team will play only 161 games.
Lopez (10-15) allowed one run on five hits with nine strikeouts. He was lifted after giving up a single to Victor Reyes leading off the ninth. Kelvin Herrera came on to get the final three outs.
Lopez was 0-3 with a 10.29 ERA in his previous three starts.
"It's a good feeling when you can finish the season with this good outing," Lopez said through a translator. "I think it's important because you can carry this good feeling to the offseason and work on that for next season."
Miguel Cabrera homered for Detroit, which has lost four straight and has 113 defeats on the season, the second-most in franchise history.
Matthew Boyd (9-12) allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits in four innings. He struck out four to finish with 238 for the season.
"He was still throwing the ball fine, but he threw 75 pitches in four innings, so we just said that's enough," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said of Boyd. "I would like to see a team behind him that catches the ball a little bit better because he's a good pitcher, a strikeout pitcher."
Cabrera put Detroit ahead with a solo shot in the first, his 11th of the season.
Chicago took the lead in the third with a pair of unearned runs. Yolmer Sanchez led off and reached on an error by second baseman Harold Castro. Adam Engel singled to put runners on first and second and Ryan Cordell followed with a single to drive in Sanchez. Engel scored two batters later on a passed ball.
The White Sox make it 4-1 in the fourth on an RBI double by Sanchez and a run-scoring single by Leury Garcia.
Mendick hit a two-run shot in the sixth off reliever Edwin Jackson. Jimenez homered leading off the seventh.
That was plenty of support for Lopez. The 25-year-old hopes to follow the lead of teammate Lucas Giolito, who made the All-Star team this season after struggling a year ago.
"I think every pitcher can do it," Lopez said. "Gio took advantage of it last year with all the starts he had and he learned from them. He put himself in position for this year.
"That's gonna be my focus, too. Learn from this experience and work hard during the offseason to have a very good season next year."
PROTECTING THE LEAD
Mendick started in place of regular shortstop Tim Anderson, who sat to guard his advantage in the race for the AL and major league batting title. Anderson is hitting .337. His closest pursuer, the Yankees' DJ LeMahieu, was batting .331 entering Saturday night's game at Texas.
Mendick celebrated his 26th birthday with his second major league homer.
"I think it's the first time I've played baseball on my birthday in a while, so that was nice," he said.
Tigers: 2B Harold Castro didn't start the second game because of a sore ankle. Gardenhire said he may not play Sunday as well.
White Sox: Jimenez started at DH. He sat out Wednesday and Thursday with an ear/throat infection.
Tigers RHP Spencer Turnbull (3-16, 4.59 ERA) will make his 30th start in the season finale on Sunday. The rookie is coming off a solid effort against Minnesota on Tuesday, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings. The White Sox haven't named a starter yet for Sunday.
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Updated September 28, 2019