CHICAGO (AP) — Reynaldo Lopez hid the ball in his glove as White Sox manager Rick Renteria approached the mound. Renteria asked if Lopez had enough left to retire Shin-Soo Choo, and Lopez said it was his batter.
That was all Renteria needed to hear.
Lopez finished a career-high eight innings by striking out Choo with a runner on first, and Chicago beat the Texas Rangers 3-0 on Sunday for its first home series win this season.
“The way he went out today, there was a lot of conviction and intensity and focus in his outing today, from pitch one,” Renteria said.
Lopez (1-3) allowed two hits, struck out eight and walked two in his first victory since Sept. 22 against Kansas City. The right-hander has been Chicago’s best starter this year, but has been hurt by poor run support.
Leury Garcia had two hits and two RBIs, and Welington Castillo homered as the major league-worst White Sox (13-30) took three of four against last-place Texas. They won consecutive games for the first time since winning three in a row at Kansas City from April 26-28.
“This was one of the best games for us,” Garcia said.
Texas (18-30) lost for the sixth time in eight games and was shut out for the first time this season. Mike Minor (3-3) struck out a season-high nine in five innings, but was charged with three runs and six hits.
Choo singled in the first and Carlos Perez led off the third with a double for the Rangers’ only hits. Jace Fry pitched a perfect ninth for his first career save.
“The effort’s there. However, we’ve got to reassess what our identity is and who we are,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “I know we’re a better ballclub than this. I know our hitters should be able to pose a better attack than we did today.”
Lopez retired 17 of 18 batters before Delino DeShields walked with two outs in the eighth, prompting the visit from Renteria. The crowd cheered when Renteria left Lopez in, and the pitcher pounded his chest after he struck out Choo swinging to end the inning.
The 24-year-old Lopez struggled in his previous start, yielding six runs in two-plus innings during a 7-0 loss at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
“I just changed my attitude in the game,” Lopez said through a translator. “I was more positive today than I was in my last outing, and I think that was one of the biggest differences.”
Castillo put the White Sox in front with a one-out drive deep into the seats in left in the second. Garcia added an opposite-field, two-run single in the third, with Tim Anderson sliding in ahead of Perez’s tag.
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