White Sox 5, Red Sox 1: A win-win situation

White Sox win

No matter whether it’s nine innings or seven, or whether bases-loaded opportunities were maximized or minimized, a doubleheader sweep is a doubleheader sweep, and the White Sox were able to climb back to .500 because of one at Fenway Park today.

After holding tight to a one-run win in the front end, the White Sox’s fill-in starter (Michael Kopech) bested the Red Sox’s intended starter (Martín Pérez). They both hit a wall in the fourth, but Tony La Russa was more successful in pulling the plug, while Pérez yielded the crooked number the Boston offense couldn’t counter.

Kopech was electric early, striking out four through three perfect innings. He survived a couple of hard grounders in the first, then more or less set the agenda by himself for the next two innings on the strength of a good, riding fastball.

When Kopech headed back for the fourth, he started with a walk and a single through the middle, and La Russa decided to not press his luck. In came Matt Foster, who immediately gave up an RBI single to J.D. Martinez, but survived a Xander Bogaerts fly in front of the Monster before getting two easier outs in the air to close the inning. Foster then opened the fifth with a pair of strikeouts before giving way to Garrett Crochet, and he, Evan Marshall and Liam Hendriks carried the game scorelessly the rest of the way.

The big three-run fourth from the White Sox offense eased the tension. Yermín Mercedes opened it up with a beefy 431-foot blast to center field, and the Red Sox defense assisted the other exploits. Mercedes was followed by an infield single by Leury García that was misplayed by Pérez. García moved to second on a groundout, then scored two batters later on a blooped single by Danny Mendick in front of Alex Verdugo, who didn’t get the most confident jump. That chased Pérez from the game, but the offense had a little more to give.

First, Christian Vazquez shotputted an attempted pickoff of Mendick down the right field line, which allowed Mendick to take second. Nick Madrigal, who had an excellent day at the plate, seized the opportunity by shooting a grounder past a diving Bogaerts, which Madrigal turned into a hustle double.

The other innings weren’t quite as satisfying, as the White Sox couldn’t score multiple runs under their own power. The White Sox twice loaded the bases with nobody out, but only failed to get one run apiece from the situations.

In the first, Madrigal reached on a soft single, Luis Robert followed with a hard single, and Yoán Moncada lined a single off the glove of Bogaerts to load the bases. José Abreu came to the plate and hit a routine grounder to short, which might’ve been a 6-4-3 double play if Enrique Hernandez didn’t drop the exchange at second. One run scored, and only one run scored because Mercedes struck out, and García lined out.

They followed a similar script in the sixth, except the bottom of the order started the party. García reached on another infield single and moved to third on Andrew Vaughn’s opposite-field double into the right-field corner. Zack Collins then walked to load the bases, but three straight flyouts resulted in just one run, with Madrigal’s opposite-field drive the one deep enough to get the job done.

Still, the Sox went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position, compared to 1-for-5 for Boston. In this day and age, that’s enough to get the job done.

Bullet points:

*Abreu avoided the double play in the first inning, but he grounded into twin killings in the third and fifth. He was 0-for-4 with five stranded.

*Madrigal raised his average to .304 by going 2-for-3. Combined with Tim Anderson’s performance in Game 1, the Sox went 5-for-7 with a homer and a double from the leadoff spot.

*Robert, who saw his three-game multi-hit streak end with an 0-for-3 performance in the first game, started a new one by going 2-for-4 with a hustle double.

Record: 8-8 | Box score | Statcast

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Soxfan2

Crotchet throwing 96 MPH fastballs and 92 MPH change ups was interesting

tommytwonines

Glass half empty: Crochet. He seems out of sorts.

Glass half full: Kopech. Looking good, kid.

Glass overflowing Mercedes

MrStealYoBase

Has any reporter asked what’s going on with him? 4-5 mph drop is pretty significant

Root Cause

Thanks for the details. I couldn’t see game 2.

Nice to see .500 again.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

78% of the innings. 100% of the wins.

lifelongjd

Kopech was great. I hope they intend on stretching him into a full time starter. The way he attacks hitters is awesome. He’s confident in his stuff and just challenges people. I sure hope Cease was watching and taking some pointers.

ParisSox

Let’s make sure his arm doesn’t fall off first. I’m fine with a managed workload so he’s at the top of his game in September, October.

GrinnellSteve

Through 16 games every game the Sox have played has been against a team currently over .500.

Holland23

Shorter season, shorter games seem to make the White Sox successful. Less time to mess things up I guess. 

jorgefabregas

I tried to find examples of other pitchers with trapezius strains to get an idea of how long Lynn might be out. I’m sure there are more, but that one I found was Strasburg in 2015. He was pulled from a game at the end of May and pitched about 25 days later.