Lopez seems fit for re­turn

Rookie looks to be on tar­get for Fri­day; Hol­land lit up again

Chicago Sun-Times - - SOX BEAT - Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ CST_ sox­van. Email: dvan­schouwen@ suntimes. com DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN

MIN­NEAPO­LIS — Rookie right- han­der Rey­naldo Lopez is ready to re­turn to the White Sox’ ro­ta­tion af­ter miss­ing a cou­ple of starts with dis­com­fort in his back.

Lopez, 23, made one good start and one bad one af­ter a muchan­tic­i­pated call- up from Class AAA Char­lotte, the lat­ter halted by a back is­sue he failed to speak up about be­fore his out­ing. He is set to start when the Sox open a 10- game home­s­tand Fri­day against the Rays.

The Sox haven’t of­fi­cially named a starter for Fri­day, but ‘‘ ten­ta­tively it looks like it might be Lopey,’’ manager Rick Ren­te­ria said. ‘‘ His side [ ses­sion of 30 to 35 pitches Tuesday] went very, very well.’’

Ren­te­ria in­di­cated a six- man ro­ta­tion in Septem­ber isn’t likely, which prob­a­bly means left- han­der Derek Hol­land will be work­ing out of the bullpen. Hol­land, who fell to 7- 14 with a 6.16 ERA af­ter giv­ing up five runs in five in­nings in an 11- 1 loss Wed­nes­day to the Twins, prob­a­bly will be the odd man out, Ren­te­ria said af­ter the game, with Car­los Rodon, Miguel Gon­za­lez, Lu­cas Gi­olito, James Shields and Lopez the likely five. That’s as­sum­ing Gon­za­lez isn’t traded be­fore the waiver dead­line at 11 p. m. Thurs­day.

Lopez said he is 100 per­cent and feel­ing no pain.

‘‘ Af­ter I threw in the bullpen [ Tuesday], they were sur­prised be­cause of the way I was throw­ing the ball,’’ Lopez said through an in­ter­preter. ‘‘ They said, ‘ You are feel­ing re­ally good, right?’ I told them, ‘ Yes, I’m feel­ing good.’ ’’

Lopez’s ve­loc­ity was down in his sec­ond start with the Sox be­cause of his back.

‘‘ Next time I’m go­ing to be 100 per­cent with my ve­loc­ity,’’ he said. ‘‘ That was one of the is­sues in my last out­ing, but right now I’m feel­ing good.

‘‘ Once I start throw­ing in the games again, I will prob­a­bly be as good or bet­ter than I was be­fore.’’

Hol­land, who will be a free agent af­ter the sea­son, again wasn’t good. He al­lowed eight hits — in­clud­ing a home run to Ed­die Rosario, who also home­red against re­liever Mike Pel­frey — and walked four.

Hol­land, who signed a one- year, $ 6 mil­lion deal with the Sox last off­sea­son, is frus­trated with his per­for­mance but pleased that he is healthy again. Asked about his un­der­stand­ing of go­ing to the bullpen — he has made two pre­vi­ous re­lief ap­pear­ances this sea­son — he said: ‘‘ Yeah. Oh, yeah. I know what my job is. I have to take what­ever they give me.’’

When Hol­land hit the Twins’ Joe Mauer in the ribs with a 3- 1 fast­ball with run­ners on first and sec­ond and one out in the fourth, plate um­pire Scott Barry warned both dugouts. Jose Abreu had been hit by Twins right- han­der Jose Ber­rios in the top of the in­ning.

Ber­rios ( 12- 6, 3.80 ERA) struck out the side in the sev­enth to match his ca­reer high with 11. He yielded four hits in seven in­nings and dis­played the kind of young, live arm the Sox hope to see from Lopez in the com­ing years.

Lopez, mean­while, will look to get back on track af­ter he al­lowed two runs in six in­nings in his first start with the Sox against the Roy­als on Aug. 11 at Guar­an­teed Rate Field. He al­lowed six earned runs in 4„ in­nings six days later on the road against the Rangers.

Lopez was 6- 7 with a 3.79 ERA and 131 strike­outs in 121 in­nings for Class AAA Char­lotte.

‘‘ Lopey came in, made a nice splash and threw very, very well,’’ Ren­te­ria said. ‘‘ We were all con­cerned af­ter he tweaked his back a lit­tle — or what­ever that was — and he re­cov­ered from that pretty well. We’re look­ing to see him get back on the hill and see what he can do.’’

Rookie right- han­der Rey­naldo Lopez is on track to re­turn to the Sox’ ro­ta­tion Fri­day against the Rays. He missed a cou­ple of starts with dis­com­fort in his back. | GETTY IMAGES

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