Rookie center fielder Adam Engel tripled and scored twice, including the eventual winning run with a headfirst slide on Yolmer Sanchez’s safety squeeze earlier in the seventh.
“We never quit. We just play hard”, Anderson said. “We’re going to let him go out there and pitch”. White Sox right-hander Chris Beck called Chicago’s three-game sweep of American League West-leading Houston this week a “nice little uplift, for sure”. However, the Royals lost for the fifth straight time and 10th in their last 12.
“Nobody likes to go through these streaks”. That took its toll on manager Ned Yost’s relief pitchers, who allowed 19 runs in 16 innings. They also know Chicago’s organizational status guarantees no advantage in Kansas City’s bid for an American League playoff berth. Lopez, acquired from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade last winter, is one of the top prospects in the team’s system, and he will be looking to continue his strong play of late when he toes the rubber Friday.
“(He showed) more consistency with the fastball, he threw quality strikes, (he was) trusting his off-speed pitches (and) being able to throw any pitch in any count”, Hahn said.
“I feel like I’m ready physically and mentally to pitch in the majors”, Lopez said through a team interpreter. “This is the reward for all the work I’ve put in in my career”.
Lopez allowed two runs – both on Moustakas’ homers. In 22 starts with Charlotte this season, he was 6-7 with a 3.79 ERA. In his career, Shields is 7-2 with a 4.02 ERA and 65 strikeouts against Kansas City.
“The guys I’ve faced before, I might look at a little less video”, Butera said.
White Sox catcher Kevan Smith touted valuable experience working with Lopez in Charlotte.
“He attacks hitters”, Smith said. “You’re going to see him go right after guys”. “When you get a front-row seat to watch people realize their dreams that is a perk of the job”. Success against the White Sox figures to be pivotal during the stretch run.
After Moustakas cut it to 2-1 with one out in the fourth, Cheslor Cuthbert and Alcides Escobar followed with sharp singles. But following a mound conference with pitching coach Don Cooper, Lopez settled down and got the next two outs.
A flyout to center field and a foul popout near third base ended Kansas City’s threat. “That was all I did”. “I’ve got to be better than that”.
Aaron Bummer (1-2) pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth to earn his first major league win. Anderson and Engel had two hits apiece, with Engel becoming the first White Sox rookie with two triples in one game since April 1963.
“All victories are satisfying, obviously”, White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “They’re playing really well right now”. On Saturday, White Sox right-hander James Shields (2-4, 6.03 ERA) will face Royals righty Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.83 ERA). He came to the White Sox as a free agent in 2015.