Sunday’s start by right-hander Reynaldo Lopez might have been his last for the Charlotte Knights, according to at least a pair of published reports.
Lopez, 23, is expected to be called up early this week by the Chicago White Sox, who acquired him a year ago in a trade with the Washington Nationals. The call-up was reported over the weekend by both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Prior to Sunday, Lopez had surrendered two or fewer runs in his last seven starts, but he was tagged for three homers and four runs in five innings Sunday in Charlotte’s 9-2 loss to the Gwinnett Braves.
Lopez struck out nine in his Sunday appearance, giving him 131 strikeouts in 121 innings. His first start for the White Sox is expected next weekend against Kansas City, according to reports out of Chicago.
Meanwhile, the White Sox have signed 31-year-old veteran pitcher Al Alburquerque and assigned him to Charlotte. In parts of seven major-league seasons, he has a 17-7 record with one save and a 3.23 earned run average.
Tuesday: Lopez gave up only three hits and two runs in five innings pitched, but the Knights were held to one hit in a 6-0 loss at Durham. Jason Bourgeois had the only Charlotte hit off four Bulls pitchers.
Wednesday: Charlotte was held to four hits in a 4-1 loss at Durham. The Knights’ run came on Rymer Liriano’s 11th home run of the season. Keon Wong smacked a three-run homer for the Bulls off Charlotte loser Chris Volstad (2-7).
Thursday: Durham completed a three-game sweep of the Knights, winning 4-1. Cody Asche hit his ninth home run of the season for Charlotte.
Friday: The Knights got back into the win column with a 7-5 rain-shortened triumph over the visiting Gwinnett Braves. Charlotte pitcher Carson Fulmer was sharp, allowing only four hits and striking out seven in six innings. Eddy Alvarez rapped a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh. The game was called after eight innings.
Saturday: Former Knight Micah Johnson hit a two-run double in the sixth inning, lifting Gwinnett to a 2-0 victory over the Knights, before a crowd of 10,363 – the Knights’ 20th sellout of the season. Charlotte starter Lucas Giolito pitched five shutout innings, striking out seven.
What’s ahead: The Knights hit the road for a week, playing Monday through Wednesday at Pawtucket and Thursday through Sunday at Lehigh Valley. Charlotte returns home Aug. 15 against Toledo.