No ReyLo No-No, but Sox win, 2-0

Before the storm: Reynaldo López had a no-hitter for five innings before being removed with flu-like symptoms. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)

Reynaldo López fired five innings of no-hit ball before leaving today’s 2-0 win over Texas with flu-like symptoms, but he and four relievers combined on a one-hitter — no little thanks going to an injury-depleted Rangers lineup happy to swing at any pitch in the zip code. Or any 606– zip code.

Lopez didn’t seem to have his best stuff, but the Rangers, who lead the majors in strikeouts, are so swing-happy he didn’t need it. The only time López was in the slightest trouble was in the third. After two fly outs to right, the first a nice catch by Jon Jay, Jose Trevino got aboard on the first of Tim Anderson’s two errors of the day and Shin-Soo Choo walked. A Danny Santana K took care of the problem.

The sole hit surrendered in the 2-0 Sox victory was a single by Choo leading off the sixth against Aaron Bummer. That was followed by Anderson’s second boot of a routine grounder, extending his commanding lead for most errors in MLB, but Bummer recovered to get two ground outs and strikeout, sandwiched around an intentional walk that loaded the bases.

Otherwise, Bummer, Evan Marshall, Jace Fry and Alex Colomé cruised to a Players’ Weekend celebration. Texas has been a horrible team of late, but it was a fine pitching performance, regardless of opponent.

Meanwhile, the offense looked like it would sting rookie lefty Brock Burke right off the bat. Burke, pitching only his second game in the bigs, gave up a leadoff single to Leury García, hit José Abreu, walked Yoán Moncada, and faced Eloy Jiménez with the bases loaded and one out. Eloy smashed by far the hardest-hit ball of the game, a 109 mph screamer, but it was right at Elvis Andrus at short, and José was doubled off of second.

In the third, Yolmer Sánchez walked, Leury sacrificed him to second, Anderson got on on an Andrus error, and José singled Yolmer home with a shot through the left side.

That was Jose’s RBI No. 99 for 2019. It was called an earned run, the only one Burke has now given up in 12 innings with the Rangers.

An insurance run came in the seventh, when reliever Emmanuel Clase gave up a single to Adam Engel, Yolmer drew a fortunate walk after he should have been called out on strikes, García took a fastball to his ankle on a bunt attempt (X-rays are negative, he’s day-to-day), and José’s 100th RBI on a, well, not-blast:

Abreu’s fielder’s choice roller was so slow Statcast didn’t even measure it, but it did the job.

The Sox only managed five hits, two of those by Engel and none by Anderson or Sánchez, so both of their hitting streaks are de-streakified.

That’s four wins in their last five for the Sox, all five featuring excellent starting pitching. They get a day off tomorrow before the Minnesota Twins come to town for a three-game series starting Tuesday night.

Gamethread: Rangers at White Sox

Lightweight: White Sox discovered designing their own bats for game two of Players’ Weekend was a step too far. (Carving by Peter Shuyff,

The good times were bound to stop rolling at some point, but they sure came to a crashing halt last night, with inept offense and defense. The only bright spot, other than Jose Abreu’s 1,000th hit and Tim Anderson and Yolmer Sánchez keeping their hitting streaks alive, was the fourth straight solid starting pitching performance, so you can’t Blame it on the Bossa Nova, because Iván pitched very well.

Let’s hope it was just a one-day blip on what has otherwise been the best stretch of the year for the Chicago White Sox.

That blip came against a Texas starter who had all of three big league games under this belt this year and a 6.60 ERA going in, following three starts and a 12.38 ERA with Atlanta last year. Kolby Allard’s 6 1/3 scoreless innings lowered his ERA almost two full points, to 4.64, so it was a generous act by the Sox offense.

That generosity often shows up against major league newbies for some reason, which may not bode well for this afternoon’s attempt to make it three-out-of-four in the series with the Rangers. Texas is tossing lefty Brock Burke, who has all of one appearance in the bigs. Burke started this season in the Arizona Rookie League and has played at five league levels this year.

Worse, Burke’s only start for Texas was six innings of shutout ball against the Angels. On the plus side, that means in order to change his ERA by two points, as the Sox did for Allard, it would have to be two points upward.

It will be Reynaldo López on the mound for the Sox. Last time out, ReyLo got hammered by the Twins, though four of the seven of the runs he gave up were unearned. That start, and the previous one against the Angels, ended what had been a streak of half a dozen mostly solid starts since the All-Star break.

Gotta hope for the good ReyLo this time. He has faced the Rangers once this year, but that was in the pre-break doldrums, when he gave up three earned in 5 1/3.

Incidentally, if you Google “ReyLo,” one of the first images is this:

So maybe if Lopez has to kick it up a notch with me on base we’ll see the first light sabre of Players’ Weekend. (

Lopez will be throwing to Welington Castillo:

The Rangers will be playing only nicknames, not actual players, so that should be a break:

Another beautiful day for baseball, with a temp of 73 at the 1:10 p.m. CT start and no chance of rain. NBC Sports on the idiot box, WGN on the boombox.

Spot ’em a 3-0 lead? So what?

The numbers are nice but the story is better. (@WhiteSox)

Dylan Cease’s start couldn’t have been rockier. His follow-up couldn’t have been smoother. And the Chicago White Sox pecked away and then boomed away for an 8-3 win over the Texas Rangers, so the players celebrating on the first game of Players’ Weekend were the ones in the good-guy black outfits.

Four batters in, the Sox rookie had given up a walk, a 103 mph single to Elvis Andrus, a wild pitch, and a 401-foot, 102.3 mph three-run homer to Willie Calhoun. Looked grim.

But …

Cease left the game 19 batters later, having retired the next 11 Rangers before giving up just two more singles and getting a career-high (OK, short career, but still) nine strikeouts. The two singles led off the fifth inning, but a strikeout, a Shin-Soo Choo blast Leury García caught a few feet short of the wall and a routine fly later, Cease was out of the inning.

Cease picked up his third win and registered a game score of 60, by far his best in the bigs. He gets credit for a quality start, tossing 56 strikes out of 95 pitches over six innings. The mighty triumvirate of the bullpen took over, with Evan Marshall, Aaron Bummer, and Alex Colomé cruising aside for a hit batter by The Horse in the ninth.

Forgetting Sarah did get some nice help from Tim Anderson in the seventh:

Meanwhile, the offense picked up two runs in the second, when Lance Lynn showed that even 14-game winners can get sloppy by walking Matt Skole and Yolmer Sánchez with two outs, after which Adam Engel came through with a soft liner just over third that scored them both. (See, Sox guys and bosses and fans — taking walks truly is important. Really. Honest.)

The Sox took the lead for good in the fourth. Jon Jay singled, advanced on one of Lynn’s four wild pitches on the night — that’s right, four of ’em — and scored on a Sánchez single. Yolmer scored on a double by Leury, who was driven in on an Anderson bloop to right.

That made it 5-3, and the Sox added three more in the sixth when Leury singled, took second and third on two wild pitches, then scored on the hardest-hit ball of the night, a 109.6 mph, 403-foot double by José Abreu. Yoán Moncada then belted one that had less velocity and less distance than Jose’s (102/393), but a better sense of direction:

That closed out a big offensive night, with every Sox batter but James McCann getting at least one of the team’s 12 hits, and García, Anderson, Moncada and Jay getting two apiece. In the process, Anderson and Sánchez both extended their hitting streaks.

Game three of the series will begin at 6:10 p.m. CDT tomorrow. Iván Nova. who has gone from 4-9 to 9-9, will try to get on the plus side of the win-loss ledger, opposing Rangers rookie Kolby Allard, who sports a 6.60 ERA and gave up six earned runs to the Angels in five innings last time out. Ashley Sanders is going to try to bring the sunglasses emoji over the South Side Hit Pen, in her recap debut here.

Gamethread: Rangers at White Sox

Wood wagoneers: Rangers sounds less intimidating in Spanish, since “rurales” also means “country folk” and “station wagons.” Maybe that’s why Yoán Moncada hit so well last night.

The White Sox will be trying for their third straight win and second in a row against the Texas Rangers, in what should be a perfect night to begin Players’ Weekend at Downward Facing Arrow Stadium. The challenge will be continuing the pitching domination of Lucas Giolito and (surprise, surprise!!) Ross Detwiler.

Dylan Cease will be taking up that challenge for the Sox, making his ninth big league start and trying for his third win. Cease’s ERA is back up close to six, at 5.93, after getting whacked for five runs in five innings against the Angels last time out. Lefties are batting .338 against him, so it’s good the Ranger lineup only has three southpaws and switch-hitter Danny Santana, who missed last night’s game with a sore hammie.

It’s probably not quite time to go from considering Cease’s mediocre performance as just the rockiness of rookieness, to thinking, “Sure hope Giolito gets him away from the Sox organization to the people who made such a difference for him mentally and physically last offseason.” That time could come soon, though , especially given Dylan had a really rocky June at Charlotte as well.

Dylan Cease ponders the next step in his development. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)

Things will probably be tougher for the offense tonight, since tossing for the Rangers will be 14-game winner Lance Lynn. The big (6´5´´, 280) righty has had two losses and a no decision in his last three starts, though in each loss he only gave up one run.

The good news is that one of the few times Lynn got hit hard this year was courtesy of the White Sox, who got to him for five runs in seven innings June 22 (OK, we lost 6-5 anyway, but let’s not mention that). The bright light you’ll see coming from the Sox dugout will be the gleam in the eyes of Tim Anderson, who nailed Lynn for a single, double, homer and four RBIs in that game.

Tim Anderson hears he gets to face Lance Lynn again. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)

Sox lineup comes complete with Players’ Weekend nicknames:

Three of the four Rangers who will hit lefty against Cease will be among the first four batters he faces:

Guess the players wanted the lineup in invisible ink. Probably legible if you rub lemon juice over your screen.

If you can’t figure that out (silly you), it’ll be Choo/Santana/Andrus/Calhoun/Pence/Odor-/Kiner-Falefa/DeShields/Mathis.

First pitch 7:10 CDT. NBC Sports on the tube, WGN on the transistor.

Giolito, super neato: 4-0, Sox

Dodgeball: The White Sox ace alternated between knee-buckling changeups and steamroller heat. (@Chisox)

No question which starting pitcher dominated today.

That’s Cool Hand Lucas to you, sir.

Lucas Giolito was masterful today, from starting out by getting nemesis Max Kepler to pop up, to ending by striking out super-nemesis Nelson Cruz, Cool Hand Lucas separated the Twins from their bats all afternoon, giving the Chicago White Sox a 4-0 win and the rubber game of their three-game series at the Minnesota Twins.

Gioilito went all the way on 115 pitches, 82 of them strikes, 24 of those swing-and-misses. He struck out 12, walked none and gave up only a bunt single to Jorge Polanco in the first, a 117 mph line shot single to Cruz in the fourth and a double to Jonathan Schoop in the eighth. His fastball sat 94ish, going up as the game went on and hitting a top at 96.8 mph, and the changeup did just what it was supposed to do.

Lucas only needed one big defensive play, delivered by Adam Engel.

Engel gets the angle on Cruz’s 117 mph shot.

As for the offense — well, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. The hardest-hit balls of the day were by the Twins, and the hardest hit balls by the Sox only figured in one run, but gifts and seeing-eye dribblers and bloops were enough for the win.

The Sox scored two off Jake Odirizzi in the first on a Leury García single, an error by Jorge Polanco when he didn’t step on second on what should have been a Tim Anderson force out, a weak José Abreu grounder in the hole for a single, a wild pitch (one of three by Twins pitchers), and a Matt Skole excuse-me bloop to short right. The hardest-hit ball of the inning was an Eloy Jiménez double-play ball to end the inning.

The third run came in the third on consecutive singles by García, Anderson and Abreu, Abreu’s a pop-up that fell among three fielders. No. 4 involved the best of José’s three hits, a leadoff double in the fifth which led to him scoring on a wild pitch.

Anderson had two hits, keeping up his amazing recent streak, and Leury hit two singles as well. In true Sox fashion, the team did manage 11 Ks vs. two walks.

But the day belonged to Cool Hand Lucas, who ended it this way:

Nemesis de-nemesized.

The Sox now head home and start a four-game series against the Texas Rangers tomorrow night. Some sort of crazy amalgamation of Lauren Wilner and Leonard Gore prose, and Janice Scurio and Cat Garcia tweets, will provide the SSHP coverage.

Gamethread: White Sox at Twins

Archaeologists claim this is a Pompeii man who made a poor decision about trying to catch a souvenir from Vesuvius, not the White Sox last night. Fans may disagree.

One of the nice things about being crushed in a sporting contest, as opposed to, say, a volcanic eruption, is that you get to start all over again the next game. That’s a lucky thing for the Chicago White Sox.

The Sox go with their best for today’s nooner in Minnesota, as Lucas Giolito tries for win number 14. Giolito’s prior starts against the Twins have both been -ful … one master-, the other aw-.

On June 30, Cool Hand Lucas tossed five innings of one-hit, no run, no walk, four-K ball, getting the win in a 4-3 Sox victory. But on July 25, Chevy Gio was as crushed as the gentleman from Pompeii above, giving up seven earned in five innings, including three homers (in just five innings, mind you) to Nelson Cruz and another to Max Kepler. Giolito has had all very fine starts since then, so there’s good reason to expect it will be Cool Hand in the hot sun this afternoon.

Giolito will be facing another 13-game winner, righty Jake Odorizzi. Odorizzi dominated the Sox the only time he’s faced them this year, matching Gio’s first time vs. the Twinkies, going 5 1/3 inning of one hit, one walk, nine-K ball. He was an out short of a quality start against Texas last time out, but hasn’t had a bad game since getting pummeled by the Yankees July 24.

Since neither team needed to use its good relievers in last night’s debacle, we’ll probably see the best of the pens once the starters leave. That should mean a low-scoring game, but, hey — this is baseball. And the last two games have shown that anything squirrely can happen.

Matt Skole moves up in the Sox lineup.

Oddly enough, Cruz will bat third for the Twins.

First pitch is at 12:10 CDT on an absolutely perfect day for baseball in Minneapolis, 73 degrees and no chance of rain (or snow). NBC Sports on the idiot box, WGN 720 on the boombox.