Preview: Blake Snell tries to keep momentum going for Rays

TV: FOX Sports Sun

TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 7:30 p.m.


CHICAGO -- When the Chicago White Sox called up Reynaldo Lopez from the minors earlier this month, they did so knowing the right-hander was part of their future plans.

But like many of the White Sox prospects who have found their way to the major leagues this season, Lopez is also part of the present as Chicago continues to soldier through the rebuilding process.

Lopez (0-1, 6.97 ERA) will make his third major league start on Friday when the White Sox begin a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Fresh off a two-week stint on the disabled list, Lopez will look to help the White Sox snap a three-game losing streak. Chicago was swept in three games by the Minnesota Twins, who capped the series with a walk-off, 5-4 win Thursday at Target Field.

Lopez left his last start against the Texas Rangers with a back strain and was placed on the disabled list Aug. 18. However, as the regular season enters its final month, he is ready to rejoin the Chicago rotation.

"I'm feeling 100 percent right now," Lopez said Wednesday. "Once I start throwing in the games again … I'm going to be probably as good or better than I was before."

While the White Sox enter Friday's game scuffling, the Rays arrive in Chicago having won five of their past seven games.

Left-hander Blake Snell (2-6, 4.29 ERA) will start for Tampa Bay after posting both of his 2017 victories in August. Snell pitched seven innings in each of his past two starts, striking out 15 and allowed just two total runs in those outings.

Rays manager Kevin Cash has seen a big improvement in Snell, who will make his second career start against the White Sox on Friday and first this season. Snell pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings against Chicago last September.

Now in a bit of a rhythm, Snell will attempt to continue the progress he has made of late.

A big part of Snell's development, according to his manager, has been his ability to find the strike zone more effectively while staying out of his own way.

"We've talked about it, the mental approach that he's taken," Cash said Wednesday in Kansas City. "But at the end of the day, you're not going to have success in this game as a starting pitcher if you don't throw strikes, so I think it's fair to say that throwing more strikes, and the intent behind them has definitely helped."

While the Rays enter the series having won more than they have lost recently, they haven't been able to string together as many victories as Cash would like. Much of it comes down to pitching, which has proven to be a mix bag for both the Rays and White Sox this season.

"It takes a combination of good pitching, timely hitting, (but) the pitching kind of rules everything," Cash said "You look at all those teams that get on hot streaks, they're getting strong performances by their pitching staffs. That's not to say we haven't. I feel like we're in a lot of games. We're just that one big hit away, so maybe it's that. Ultimately, we've got to have a bunch of things go our way to get on one of those stretches."