Pressure on White Sox starter Lopez to turn season around

Field Level Media

Chicago White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez may be missing locations, but he's not pulling punches.

Assessing his struggles entering Tuesday night's start against the visiting Kansas City Royals, Lopez -- 0-2 with a 12.15 ERA in three starts this season -- is up front, and then some.

"They have been three bad outings," Lopez recently told reporters. "There's no other way to say it. There's three bad outings. It's frustrating because you know that you need to do better and you want to do better. Not just for yourself but for your team and especially for the bullpen, for the relievers."

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Lopez has logged just 13 1/3 innings in 2019, including a March 30 start in Kansas City during which he allowed four runs and six hits in four innings. Lopez walked four and hit a batter during his season debut, and the control issues have not subsided since.

He has walked 12 and allowed six home runs. Opponents are batting .367 against the 25-year-old Lopez, who was 7-10 with a 3.91 ERA in 32 starts last season.

"No excuses," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said recently. "Some of his misses are significant, a foot or two at times. He's trying to put himself back on track. It's a work in progress trying to be consistent, repeat his delivery so he can take advantage of that nice arm angle."

Lopez hopes extra film study with pitching coach Don Cooper and the rest of the club's coaching staff will help him adjust and move past his early-season slump. Lopez has struck out five in each of his past two starts, but also has allowed three home runs in each game.

"I know that I'm going to be able to adjust those things to fix it," Lopez said. "But it's just ... taking me a little bit of time. Definitely something it is in my mechanics. Not mentally. The trouble is in my mechanics."

The Royals are set to start righty Jorge Lopez (0-1, 3.71 ERA), who will look to improve upon his shaky season debut against the White Sox.

Chicago reached Lopez for four runs and six hits -- including two home runs -- in five innings on March 31, taking the loss as the Royals were unable to secure the series sweep.

Kansas City did earn a sweep this past weekend, however, defeating the reigning American League Central champion Cleveland Indians in three straight games at Kauffman Stadium. Hunter Dozier delivered a game-ending single in the finale, boosting a Royals team that had lost 10 straight games entering the series.

"We're a lot better than a 10-game losing streak," Royals manager Ned Yost told the media following the series. "I think that's a really good team over there (the Indians). Of course, they've been touted to be the head of this division. I think they're an extremely good team, but I think we're a good team, too."

The Royals squandered leads of 3-0 and 4-3 in Monday's series opener against the White Sox in their bid for a fourth successive victory. Tuesday marks the second game in a 10-game road trip that also includes visits to the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

--Field Level Media

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