Michael Kopech received a rough introduction to Triple-A life when the Norfolk Tide greeted him with a run in each of the first two innings on Monday. Three straight direct hits with one out put him behind 1-0 in the first, and a leadoff single came around to score on a wild pitch, bunt single and double play in the second.
Then he retired 10 of the last 12 he faced, the Knights gave up him four runs in the fifth, and he came out of his Charlotte debut a winner.
The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc painted a picture of a guy who didn’t have his top-of-the-line stuff:
Mixing a fastball that reached 97 mph with a slider consistently in the mid-80s, Kopech threw 92 pitches, 58 for strikes, while earning the victory.
"The first couple of innings, it was a little rough," Kopech said. "I wasn't able to execute my pitches the way I had been the past few months. My slider is always my strikeout pitch, and I definitely wasn't able to execute that. That led to a few more hits than I was wanting.
... but was able to use his changeup in place of his slider until he was able to find a feel for his usual combo.
- Jacob May went 1-for-4.
- So did Jake Peter, but with a homer and two strikeouts.
- Rymer Liriano was 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
- D.J. Peterson went 0-for-2 with two walks.
- Casey Gillaspie homered, walked and struck out twice.
- Danny Hayes wore the collar and silver sombrero.
- Eddy Alvarez was 1-for-3.
- Michael Kopech: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP
- Eloy Jimenez went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Tito Polo was 1-for-2 with a triple, walk and HBP.
- Zack Collins went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Trey Michalczewski, 0-for-4 with a K.
- Alex Call went 1-for-2 with two walks and a sac fly.
- Luis Gonzalez, 2-for-4.
- Jake Burger was 0-for-4, and is in a 2-for-24 slump.
- Micker Adolfo singled twice, walked and struck out.
- Gavin Sheets went 1-for-4 with a homer.
- Craig Dedelow, 0-for-3 with a walk, strikeout and CS.
- Kade McClure: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP
- Franklin Reyes went 1-for-4 with a double.
- Amado Nunez went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Chris Comito: 1.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
- Brayant Nova went 2-for-4 with a triple.
- Luis MIeses, 1-for-4 with a double.
- Kleyder Sanchez was 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
- Harvin Mendoza and Anthony Coronado were both 0-for-3.
- Josue Guerrero was 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
- Anderson Comas went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
- Santo Vasquez, 1-for-3.
- Jendersson Caraballo: 5 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K