Kopech threw two scoreless innings, navigating through traffic for four Ks. His outing wasn’t cut short by his rather inefficient 52 pitches, but a heavy rain that delayed the game 52 minutes.
After the delay ended, Nicky Delmonico gave Kopech the lead, with a one-out, first-pitch solo homer to center field.
Luis Avilán came on to relieve Kopech, and had a rough go of it in a rare, extended outing. The third inning finished clean, but extending the LOOGY into the fourth was a roll that crapped out. A whiff and two singles started the inning, and Jeanmar Gómez did his bullpen mate no favors by coming in and immediately offering up an RBI single to Robbie Grossman, tying the game. With Jake Cave on third and Bobby Wilson at the plate, Grossman took off for second and was out on a rundown, as Cave trotted home; mission accomplished for Minnesota.
Chicago did rally to tie with two outs in the seventh, as Yoán Moncada hit his 16th homer of the season and second from the right side, evening the game 2-2.
But Minny was destined to spoil the Kopech debut, with a two-out, three-run rally in the ninth to push to a 5-2 lead that would prove insurmountable.
Dylan Covey, demoted to the bullpen with Kopech’s call-up and the failure to deal James Shields, issued a leadoff walk to Cave, who was sacrificed to second by Grossman. Chicago nearly escaping the rally when Cave was thrown out at home by Avisaíl García off a Mitch Garver pinch-hit single. But after an intentional pass to baseball’s scariest singles hitter, Joe Mauer, Jace Fry came on to face Eddie Rosario, and predictably enough in Eduardo Escobar’s absence, Esky’s former running mate tapped a single to Adam Engel in center. An Engel bobble put runners on second and third, and both runners scored when Jorge Polanco singled to left.
With a cacophony of WOOOOOOOOS echoing through a rain-soaked, emptied-out Sox Park, the White Sox offered little resistance in their final swings, with two Ks and a ground out.
Daniel Palka and García rang up three Ks apiece, including those ninth-inning whiffs.
Engel had two of the White Sox’s six hits, but was also picked off (safe at second thanks to a Mauer brain fart) in addition to his error.
Covey, who must have been downright gassed after tossing 103 pitches just two days ago, was asked to cover 2 2⁄3 innings, and did so with some wildness: three walks, and only 27 of 48 pitches for strikes.
With José Abreu a late scratch with abdominal pain (by midgame the White Sox had issued a statement that Abreu had undergone abdominal surgery and would be out two weeks) and Kopech KO’d by rain, Chicago was undermanned tonight.
If White Sox management thinks fans can handle it, Eloy Jiménez could make his White Sox debut tomorrow afternoon, as this short series winds up. But in all likelihood, it will be José Rondón, held out of Charlotte’s lineup today, who will ascend to Chicago to fill in for Abreu.