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MLB: Chicago White Sox at Pittsburgh Pirates

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Pirates 1, White Sox 0: Classic pitching duel

So, about that explosive offense ...

Michael Kopech and teammates react to the brawl in the sixth inning.
| Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox lost the series finale, 1-0, at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates in an eventful, yet mundane, game. Although it didn’t promise to be, it turned out to be a classic pitcher’s duel — yes, the offense that had been doing so well was not able to produce a run, while the pitching staff that hasn’t been doing so well was almost perfect. The beauty of baseball.

Speaking of the pitching staff, this was announced mid-game. Welcome to Chicago, cash considerations!

While there weren’t many offensive plays or highlights for the South Siders, the good part of this game was that Michael Kopech seemed to have a great bounce-back from his first outing. Although he picked up the loss, he went six innings with just two hits, one run, three walks, and five strikeouts. His ERA is now at 6.75, which slowly but surely will lower.

The only run of the ballgame came in the bottom of the second inning, after a one-out triple from Canaan Smith-Njigba was followed by a sacrifice fly by Jack Suwinski.

Meanwhile, Johan Oviedo had himself a game, outdueling Kopech by going 6 2⁄3 innings with five hits, no runs, no walks, and five strikeouts. His main threat came in the top of the fifth inning, after back-to-back singles by Oscar Colás and Romy González to put runners on the corners. But Oviedo was able to escape the jam after a Seby Zavala strikeout and Elvis Andrus fly out.

The Pirates threatened again in the bottom of the sixth inning — and that’s when the tensions of a tight game elevated a bit. ONeil Cruz started off the inning with a walk and a steal, followed by a Bryan Reynolds single to put runners on first and third. Ke’Bryan Hayes grounded to Yoán Moncada at third base, and Cruz slid into Zavala instead of making a clean attempt at home plate, and was ruled out.

While Cruz was down, injured, Carlos Santana and Zavala started jawing, and all of a sudden the benches cleared.

Kopech also seemed to be heated in the moment, but was able to compose himself and stay in the game. He got out of the inning without any further damage, and ended his day at 103 pitches.

Pirates manager Derek Shelton confirmed after the game that Cruz suffered a fractured ankle in the collision. We wish him a speedy recovery.

The White Sox are yet to win a series this season, so let’s hope that can change tomorrow as the team heads to Target Field to play the Minnesota Twins. It sounds weird to say that there’s must-win baseball being played in April, but every division game looms larger this year.

This will be the first time facing an AL Central team, and the Twins are 6-3 already. Luckily, we will have Dylan Cease on the mound against Kenta Maeda with a 1:10 p.m. CT start. Everyone have a great rest of your day, and get ready for more baseball tomorrow afternoon!

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