Michael Kopech’s start tonight was just like his hair:
For the second time in as many chances, a rain delay truncated a home start. This time, the White Sox found a way to send their fans home happy.
Kopech threw three shutout innings before a two-hour, nine-minute rain delay stopped that fun. Thankfully, Dylan Covey picked up where Kopech left off with three scoreless frames of his own, and a couple of big blasts provided plenty of cushion.
And hey, Ian Hamilton pitched a 1-2-3 inning in his MLB debut, bookending the game with rookies worth watching.
Kopech’s first inning could’ve been very tough to watch, as it was his shakiest yet. He plunked Mookie Betts on his first pitch, then issued a four-pitch walk to Andrew Benintendi, Kopech’s first free pass in the majors. Everything out of his hand was in the right-handed batter’s box.
But for the second straight game, Betts got himself picked off to give a White Sox starter his first out. This time, he tried to take off second early and Kopech caught him before he got back to the bag. A flyout and a popout later, Kopech was off the hook, and the remaining two innings of his start were more efficient affairs. He had to work around two on and two out in the second after a double and an HBP, but Jackie Bradley Jr.’s attempt to ambush the first pitch resulted in an inning-ending popout.
The White Sox offense built another quick 3-0 lead. Perhaps because they never led 4-0 at any point, they were able to see it all the way through.
Nathan Eovaldi managed to retire every other batter in the first inning. Fortunately for the White Sox, he started with an HBP to Yolmer Sanchez. Two batters later, Avisail Garcia scored him with a double that bounced past third base and into the left-field corner.
Two more batters later, Yoan Moncada flipped a 98-mph fastball into the White Sox bullpen for a 3-0 lead, joining Kopech with a little bit of revenge against his former team.
Matt Davidson made it 6-0 in the seventh with a three-run blast off Tyler Thornburg, cashing in Garcia, who walked, and Daniel Palka, who singled through the mostly vacant left side.
Covey scattered three hits over three innings, and departed after a leadoff walk in the seventh, but he kept the Red Sox from ever truly cornering him. Juan Minaya allowed only a sliced Andrew Benintendi drive that stayed just inside the left-field foul pole in the eighth, and that allowed Hamilton to make his MLB debut with a lot of room for error.
Hamilton’s first pitch resulted in a hard grounder that Moncada stabbed with a ranging play to his left, and he only needed five more to start his career with a perfect inning.
*The White Sox didn’t run the bases well. Matt Davidson made the last out at second when Mookie Betts cut him down after a single, which stranded a runner at third. Kevan Smith was also cut down by a relay from center field at the plate to end the sixth. It might’ve been a better send had Smith anticipated it better, but he slowed up around third and didn’t have a chance.
*Fortunately, the Red Sox also ran into a pair of outs. Besides Betts’ blunder, Smith gunned down his second runner of the year by cutting down Kinsler in the seventh, erasing Covey’s walk.
Record: 54-81 | Box score