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It probably would’ve been just fine had the White Sox capitalized with only two run-scoring hits in the eighth inning. The offense had been miserable with runners in scoring position all day before Andrew Vaughn and Reese McGuire shot singles through the infield to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead. With Michael Kopech throwing a sterling seven innings and the bullpen having enough depth to get through a second high-leverage game, they remained in strong position to take both games of the doubleheader.
But because Tim Anderson followed those singles with a three-run homer that silenced a Yankee Stadium crowd that spent all night booing him because Josh Donaldson deserves their support or something, it was perfect.
Anderson’s eighth three-hit game of the season had to be his most satisfying. Miguel Castro hung him a 1-1 slider, and Anderson redirected it into the short porch in right field. It would’ve only been in a homer in 18 of 30 parks, but the shape of Yankee Stadium made it a no doubter, and Anderson savored it.
Kopech had to take a backseat to the satisfying conclusion, but unlike Johnny Cueto’s scoreless outing earlier in the day, Kopech at least got the win to show for it.
Coming off an outing where his fastball dropped into the low-90s with a brief trip to the paternity list in between, it was unclear what Kopech had to offer. He quickly resolved that question with “his best.”
The box score says that Kopech only struck out six over seven innings, but he dominated the New York lineup just the same. His fastball topped out at 100 and averaged 97. He got 16 whiffs and 19 called strikes on 92 pitches, and he allowed only four hard-hit balls all game. He took a perfect game into the sixth inning before Rob Brantly of all people broke it up with a two-out double, and was exceptionally efficient until his final three batters of the game, when he walked his only two batters before striking out Estevan Florial to end the threat.
(In a neat bit of trivia, Kopech threw the equivalent of a perfect game in between hits allowed to the Yankees plus three outs.)
Luis Severino wasn’t nearly as tough to hit, but he firmed up when it mattered. He scattered eight hits over his seven shutout innings, foiling a couple of golden White Sox scoring opportunities along the way.
In the third inning, the White Sox had two on and one out after Anderson reached first on a ball that should’ve been called foul, because it clipped Anderson’s front spike in the batter’s box, deadening the ball into fair territory inside the third-base line. Severino responded by getting Yoán Moncada to ground out, and Luis Robert to strike out.
In the fifth, the Sox’s bottom three loaded the bases on a single, HBP and single. Anderson and Moncada hit weak grounders to each corner that resulted in forces at home, and Robert once again struck out. In the sixth, Gavin Sheets struck out with a runner on third and one out for the second time in as many grames, and Leury García couldn’t get him home, either.
Severino then ended his night by holding the White Sox hitless in two more RISP opportunities. They were 1-for-10 on his watch before the Sox struck for three hits in the eighth inning against the Yankee bullpen, but another strong starting pitching performance bought the bats the time they needed.
*Sox Machine readers should remember the last doubleheader with such strong pitching.
*McGuire had a three-hit game from the ninth spot.
*Moncada and Robert both went 0-for-5 with seven stranded; Robert struck out thrice.
*The White Sox went 3-4 against the Yankees on the year, and 5-3 on the eight-game, seven-day road trip.
*Donaldson did not play.