White Sox: Michael Kopech gets first win in victory over Tigers
The White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 7-2 behind quality pitching from Michael Kopech. With this win, the White Sox won the four-game Players’ Weekend series in Detroit.
Kopech pitched a tidy six innings for the White Sox and ended up with one earned run on the afternoon. Not too shabby for the kid’s second outing.
His start wasn’t without a few hiccups, but it was a good “welcome to the Kopech era” (as one enthusiastic fan’s sign at Comerica Park read).
In his six innings, the Tigers had seven hits off of the rookie. But, he struck out four batters and did not give up any free bases or home runs. The same could not be said for the veteran he faced. Jordan Zimmermann only matched Kopech in innings pitched and zero walks. Otherwise, he pitched a very different game. The Sox had eight hits and scored five runs, including one home run. Four of those runs were scored in the third inning.
The four-run third inning was rather amazing. Nicky Delmonico led off the inning with a solid single to center field. Adam Engel followed him with a ground ball to left field. Then, Carlos Sanchez grounded into a double play that caught Delmonico off guard. With two outs, Tim Anderson moved Engel to third with a double. Avisail Garcia earned a pair of RBI with a solid single to left field. Then, Daniel Palka did what he does and earned himself two RBI with a home run. Four runs, on two outs. To make the inning even sweeter, Kopech only needed to pitch to three batters.
Kopech’s had a few rough innings but managed to get out of them. In the fourth, he hit two batters. He eventually had the bases loaded in the fourth, but after a mound visit with two outs, he threw a pitch that resulted in Ronny Rodriguez hitting an easy fly ball to Engel to end the inning and keep the Tigers scoreless.
Kopech also had some trouble in the sixth inning. Nicholas Castellanos led off the inning with a double and then Victor Martinez earned an RBI after his double scored Castellanos. Jim Adduci hit a single that Engel had some trouble with. Then, with two men on the Tigers got their first out of the inning. And with the next batter, Mikie Mahtook, the Tigers loaded the bases again. Just like the fourth inning, all Kopech needed was a mound visit. He then forced the next batter to ground into a double play to end the inning – again, it was Ronny Rodriguez.
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Other than the trouble, Kopech looked good on the mound. He had control of his fastball but struggled a bit with his changeup. His velocity was all over the place – in a good way – with fastballs reaching 97 MPH and his off-speed pitches ranging between the mid-80s and mid-70s. He kept the Tigers off-balance and off home plate. He’s going to be an exciting player to watch.
Offensively, the White Sox tacked on a few runs after the big third inning. Yoan Moncada earned an RBI after he hit a triple while Omar Narvaez was on base. The Sox also scored two more runs in the seventh off of two bullpen pitchers. Tim Anderson hit a sac fly to get Adam Engel home. And, Narvaez earned another RBI on a bases-loaded walk.
This game was all White Sox until the Tigers tried to rally back in the ninth. Rodriguez led off the inning with a home run and again, the Tigers loaded the bases. But, when it was all said and done, they could not convert after Jace Fry came in to clean up the mess that Hector Santiago made.
The Sox head to New York to face the Yankees. Carlos Rodon is scheduled to pitch against Masahiro Tanaka.