White Sox drop debut of top pitching prospect at home to the Minnesota Twins. The game was delayed by rain for close to an hour.
The Chicago White Sox dropped what had been a tight contest 5-2 on Tuesday night, as the Minnesota Twins scored three runs in the ninth inning to break open a tie game.
Michael Kopech‘s debut helped draw a large and supportive crowd of 23,133 to Guaranteed Rate Field. Lasting only two innings before Rick Renteria decided to pull him following a 52-minute rain delay, Kopech struck out four Twins batters. He struck out the side in the second inning, ending it by getting six-time All-Star Joe Mauer to look at strike three. Kopech’s debut was praised by Hall of Famer and 11-time strikeout leader Nolan Ryan, who watched the game after hearing about Kopech:
"“’I really like what I see[.]…He has great composure and good command. I think he has handled his first start amazingly well…I am truly impressed with his fastball command and ability to pitch inside consistently[.]…His curve will improve and he will need to (improve his) change sooner than later.’” Nolan Ryan"
In the 4th inning, Minnesota took a 2-1 lead behind an RBI single from Robbie Grossman and some nifty baserunning by Jake Cave. Cave, who had been at third base with one out, scored when Bobby Wilson was attempting to steal second base and got caught up in a rundown long enough to allow the run to score.
Steady relief pitching by both teams kept the game even until the ninth inning when Minnesota broke the game open. Eddie Rosario hit a two-out single that scored Mitch Garver, then took second on an errant throw to third as the Sox tried to nab Mauer. Jorge Polanco then hit a two-RBI single that gave the Twins a 5-2 lead before being thrown out at second base. Twins reliever Taylor Rogers then struck out Daniel Palka and Avisail Garcia in the ninth before pinch-hitter Ryan LaMarre ended the game with a groundout, as the Sox went quietly.
Rosario – who got the game-winning hit for Minnesota – was vocal after the game as he felt disrespected when the White Sox decided to walk Joe Mauer in front of him with two outs:
"“‘I don’t think it’s smart. But I like it [because] I’m focused to have a better at-bat…I know everyone respects Joe Mauer. But I don’t like [getting] no respect.” Eddie Rosario"
Unfortunately for the Sox, Rosario used whatever motivation he could find to help deliver the blow that sent the White Sox to their 78th loss of the season.
Chicago will host Minnesota on Wednesday at 1:10 CT before heading to Detroit for a four-game series. Probable starters will be Carlos Rodon (4-3) for the White Sox and Kyle Gibson (7-9) for the Twins. Chicago will try to pick up one of two wins in Chicago following an 8-4 victory in Minnesota that took place Monday evening in Minnesota.