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Royals beat White Sox 12-0; Kopech stumbles

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Flamethrower gets rocked, but no need to panic — remember, he’s really good

MLB: Spring Training-Texas Rangers at Chicago White Sox
Till Next Time: Michael Kopech struggled against the Royals on Thursday, giving up five earned runs in two innings in his worst start of the spring.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The score certainly says it all.

The Chicago White Sox did not turn in the same effort they had in yesterday’s dramatic 14-12 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Actually, for the first few innings, during which the White Sox fell hopelessly behind, the White Sox did resemble the same team seen yesterday vs. Cincinnati. But the comeback kick Ricky’s Boys showed on Wednesday was absent in today’s 12-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

The loss showcased Michael Kopech’s worst outing of the spring by far.

Kopech could not command his fastball or slider well at all. Catcher Welington Castillo wanted a low fastball to Jorge Soler in the third inning, and Kopech left it up in the zone, leading to the Cactus League clouter’s solo shot, his fourth homer of the spring.

Kopech finished his day working two innings, giving up five earned runs, four hits and three walks.

Tyler Danish replaced Kopech and did not have much more success. He threw 1 ⅓ innings of five-hit, four-run ball, and those hits were loud. Um, Cody Asche even took him deep …

Xavier Cedeno, looking to fill one the left-handed bullpen roles for the team this year, also struggled. He went 1 ⅓ innings, giving up three hits and two earned runs. Luis Avilan, Jace Fry and Aaron Bummer are the other bullpen lefties in competition for the Opening Day roster.

Bruce Rondon and Chris Volstad covered the final four innings without giving up a run.

The White Sox bats were also held in check.

Singles from the two Garcias, Tyler Saladino and Luis Basabe, and a double from Matt Skole were the only small sparks in the lineup.

Saladino is hitting .409 on the spring, but committed his second error.

The Opening Day center field position is also getting interesting. Adam Engel went 0-for-3, while Ryan Cordell moved his average to .421 after smacking three doubles in the other split-squad game, against the Texas Rangers.

At this juncture, it looks pretty simple: If manager Ricky Renteria wants more offense in his lineup, he’ll go with Cordell, but if he’s looking for more runs saved in the outfield, he will choose Engel.

Engel has added a leg kick to his swing to add more power, but his performance today has him at .263.

Overall, today is one to forget for the White Sox. Kopech was bad, and the offense was nowhere to be found.