White Sox bullpen unable to hold lead over Blue Jays in seventh inning as the team wastes a quality start by its young right-handed pitcher in Toronto.
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez had a solid outing in his first start of the season on Monday night in Toronto. The right-handed pitcher carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and only allowed one earned run through six innings pitched.
However, the Sox couldn’t reward Lopez for his efforts as the bullpen was unable to hold a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays. After Welington Castillo hit his second solo home run of the game to put the Sox ahead 2-1 in the seventh inning, the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead in the bottom half of the inning.
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In the team’s third game, the Sox bullpen faltered for the first time this season. It started with a walk from left-handed pitcher Luis Avilan to Curtis Granderson in the seventh inning with one out. Sox manager Rick Renteria would then replace Avilan with right-hander Danny Farqhuar. Unfortunately, Farqhuar would have a tough night on the mound for the Sox on Monday.
Russell Martin would hit a go-ahead two-run home run to put the Blue Jays ahead 3-2 with two outs in the seventh inning. In the eighth inning, Farqhuar remained in the game but would give up a solo home run to Aledmys Diaz to extend Toronto’s lead 4-2. The Sox offense couldn’t mount a comeback to avoid the team’s first loss of the season.
Many Sox fans might question why Renteria replaced Avilan with Farqhuar as the team had a one-run lead. Simply put, Farqhuar just didn’t have a good night on the mound. It happens as this is a long season. Nate Jones was shown warming up in the bullpen during the seventh inning, but bringing him in at that time would have been premature.
The Sox could have won its game over the Blue Jays on Monday but the bullpen wasn’t the only reason they lost. They had multiple opportunities to score more runs but didn’t capitalize and were beat out by Toronto hitting three home runs. The Sox bullpen will struggle at times this season, and there could be new faces appearing quite often in relief. This was just one game and the Sox still have the chance to win this series and come home with a winning record on Thursday.