GLENDALE, AZ – The Chicago White Sox continued their Cactus League schedule on Monday afternoon, with a home date versus the San Francisco Giants. On the heels of a strong performance by Carlos Rodon in Sunday’s game, Reynaldo Lopez kept the theme of strong White Sox pitching going on Monday afternoon at Camelback Ranch.
Lopez, who struggled in his last start against the Kansas City Royals, allowing two runs, in four innings of work, was nothing short of dominant this time around. In his longest, and most dominant performance of the spring, Lopez tossed six scoreless innings against the Giants, allowing only two base-hits while striking out four and walking none on the afternoon.
Lopez briefly struggled with getting ahead of the first few Giants hitters in the first inning, but settled in nicely to take control of the majority of the at-bats over the next five innings. Lopez showed on Monday that he is indeed a three-pitch pitcher, putting on a display with his straight changeup, while mixing in his fastball and curveball as he made his way through the Giants lineup with relative ease.
After allowing a soft blooper to shallow right field off of the bat of Giants second-baseman Kelby Tomlinson in the first inning, and a double down the right field line in the second inning off of the bat of Justin Ruggiano, Lopez retired 11 consecutive Giants hitters, before Jose Abreu was charged with an error on a fairly easy ground ball off of the bat of Gorkys Hernandez. Lopez would induce an inning-ending double play in the next at bat, getting Eduardo Nunez to hit into the 6-4-3 twin killing to end the inning.
Peter Bourjos would get the White Sox on the board in the home half of the fourth inning, lacing a lead-off triple into right field, and then scoring on a sacrifice-fly courtesy of Leury Garcia, giving the White Sox a 1-0 lead at that point in the ballgame.
The White Sox would add-on again in the bottom of the sixth inning, when they loaded the bases on the strength of three walks issued to Yolmer Sanchez, Peter Bourjos, and Melky Cabrera, courtesy of Giants reliever Josh Osich, who struggled to find any sort of command in his brief appearance. Jose Abreu then sent a 2-1 offering deep to the right field warning track, for a long sacrifice-fly, giving the White Sox a 2-0 lead with his eighth run driven in this spring.
Cory Luebke notched a scoreless seventh inning for the White Sox, working around a one out double by Brandon Belt by retiring Jae-gyun Hwang and Aaron Hill on a pair of infield pop-fly’s to keep Reynaldo Lopez‘s shutout effort in-tact through seven innings.
The Giants would finally strike in the top of the eighth inning, taking a 3-2 lead on the strength on a three-run home run by Ryder Jones off of White Sox reliever Tommy Kahnle, erasing Lopez’s perfect outing, and saddling the youngster with a no-decision in what was a beautiful outing. Michael Ynoa entered the game in the eighth inning for Kahnle, and tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball to get the White Sox into the bottom of the ninth inning, trailing by just one run at 3-2.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Giants reliever Neil Ramirez struck out Rymer Liriano and Nicky Delmonico to open the frame, before getting Roberto Pena to fly-out to right field to end the ballgame, giving the Giants a 3-2 victory.
White Sox Reportedly Working on Long-Term Deal with Anderson
Merkin reports that a major-league source has confirmed the contract discussions, but the White Sox declined to comment on the matter at this point, as is their usual stance on ongoing contract negotiations.
Anderson hit .283 over the course of 99 games for the White Sox in 2016 during his rookie campaign, totaling 37 extra-base hits and 10 stolen bases. Anderson has impressed immensely to this point in the White Sox Spring Training camp, not only with his on-field performance, but with his attitude and presence in the clubhouse. Anderson was quoted earlier this spring saying that he would like to spend his entire career with the White Sox, and have a Michael Jordan like impact on the city of Chicago.
Anderson is hitting .333 with a home run, three RBI, and a pair of doubles to this point in Cactus League play.
Anderson would join Chris Sale and Jose Quintana as notable White Sox players to receive early contract extensions from the club. Sale signed a five year, $32.5 million dollar extension with the White Sox in the spring of 2013, while Jose Quintana received a five year, $21 million dollar extension the next season in the spring of 2014.
No deal is expected to be announced today, but the two sides both seem to want the deal to get done, and the White Sox have shown a keen eye for extending the right players early during their club-controlled years, so expect an extension with Anderson to get done in the near future.