Lopez displays composure in return from DL

Right-hander retires final 11 Rays hitters en route to quality start

Lopez displays composure in return from DL

CHICAGO -- White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez took an approach that is mature beyond his years after allowing a two-run home run in the first inning to Logan Morrison during the White Sox 3-1 loss on Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Mistakes are going to happen over the course of 85 pitches, which was Lopez's total in the series opener. But you have to accept those mistakes.

"You have to keep moving forward, because that pitch is already made. There's nothing you can do," Lopez said through interpreter Billy Russo. "That's what I tried to do. Just kept my focus on the game and tried to get the next batter out."

Lopez allowed three runs on five hits over six innings, striking out a season-high seven in his return from the disabled list. The right-hander retired the last 11 Rays batters he faced, a streak beginning after Morrison's RBI single in the third, leaving the young hurler a bit frustrated.

"He kept coming back out there and kind of settling down, feeling more comfortable as the game progressed," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He was able to minimize the damage and keep us in the ballgame."

Renteria on the 3-1 loss to Rays

That streak also featured Lopez pitching out of a first-and-third, one-out jamin the third, striking out Steven Souza Jr. and retiring Corey Dickerson on a fly ball to center.

"Other than a couple pitches that ended up being up, I thought he did a nice job after two weeks of being down," Renteria said. "He didn't look bad, didn't look bad."

"Every time you're able to go out there and pitch, you're gaining experience," Lopez said. "Then you know how to make better pitches, how to execute your plan, how to have success. What I'm trying to do is get more experience and to be able to execute it."

According to Statcast™, Lopez threw 53 fastballs, 22 changeups and 10 curveballs. Both his fastball and curveball induced seven swings and misses, and his heater averaged 94.3 mph, topping out at 96.8.

Renteria and his staff targeted six innings and 85 pitches for Lopez before he returned to the mound. The White Sox will extend him out a little more in his next start Wednesday against the American League Central-leading Indians.

"I felt strong. I felt like I could be efficient," Lopez said. "But I also have to understand I'm just coming off a DL stint and they want to protect me. You, as a player, have to understand that, and I was OK."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.