Kansas City Royals

White Sox jump on Jorge Lopez for three home runs, clinch series over Royals

Royals fall to White Sox despite Lopez’s 10-strikeout night

Royals manager Ned Yost and starting pitcher Jorge Lopez discuss Lopez's 10-strikeout performance that also included him giving up three home runs in a loss to the Chicago White Sox in Chicago on April 16, 2019.
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Royals manager Ned Yost and starting pitcher Jorge Lopez discuss Lopez's 10-strikeout performance that also included him giving up three home runs in a loss to the Chicago White Sox in Chicago on April 16, 2019.

The bullpen certainly doesn’t take full blame for this one. The Royals were done in by a combination of their starting pitcher’s miscues and an offense that put just one run on the board as the Chicago White Sox clinched the series win.

Royals starter Jorge Lopez gave up three of the four home runs hit by White Sox hitters in a 5-1 loss in the second game of the three-game series in front of an announced 13,583 Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. All of the scoring came via home runs, including a two-homer game by White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada.

The game also featured a combined 21 strikeouts.

The White Sox (7-9) will try to sweep the series on Wednesday afternoon with right-hander Lucas Giolito on the mound. Giolito took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium during the season-opening series.

“There’s probably like three balls that they did damage on, but outside of that I thought he threw the ball extremely well,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Jorge Lopez’s outing. “We just couldn’t get anything going against their Lopez.”

Tuesday night’s game made major-league history by being the first game with opposing starting pitchers with the last name Lopez, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez handcuffed the Royals (5-12) for most of his outing. He allowed one run in six innings for his first win of the season.

Jorge Lopez gave up four runs on six hits, including two home runs, and one walk in his first start of the season against the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium on March 31.

On Tuesday, he fell to 0-2 despite throwing a career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings. The long ball got him again. He became the first Royals pitcher since Luke Hochevar in 2010 to strike out 10 batters and lose.

After Royals designated hitter Lucas Duda’s solo homer plated the game’s first run in the second inning, Moncada’s third-inning blast to left field tied the score 1-1.

With the game still tied in the fifth inning, Lopez walked Yolmer Sanchez and then gave up back-to-back home runs, a two-run homer by Leury Garcia followed by Moncada’s second of the night. Three of the four runs he surrendered came after he recorded his ninth strikeout for the first out of the inning.

“Beginning of the inning, everything was working like I want it to,” Jorge Lopez said. “Later in the inning, I don’t know. I kind of was trying to make pitches perfect, I would say, and left it up most of the time. I really don’t have conviction on those pitches. I left it up and that’s what they were looking for — all of the mistakes. They got a good hack and you know.”

The pitch to Garcia, a changeup, didn’t have late break and stayed higher in the zone than he wanted. Jorge Lopez said he was second-guessing himself a little bit because he’d got Garcia to swing and miss on the curveball multiple times.

“I’m still looking for better pitches. I’m still looking for a better outing,” Jorge Lopez said. “It’s a good thing, those 10 Ks, but at the end of the day we got the loss. That’s all that matters.”

White Sox designated hitter Yonder Alonso added a solo home run off of Royals reliever Jake Newberry in the eighth inning to close out the scoring.

The Royals were held to five hits and three walks, and they were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position. The only other time this season they’d been held to one run came in a 3-1 loss at Detroit on April 7.

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.


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