White Sox: Michael Kopech, Zack Burdi Strong in Loss to the Cubs

GLENDALE, AZ – The White Sox and Cubs met for the second time this spring, this time at the White Sox spring home, Camelback Ranch, but unfortunately for the south siders the results weren’t what they had hoped for.

The Cubs defeated the White Sox on Friday afternoon, as they roughed up Derek Holland after he began the game by retiring the first seven Cubs hitters that he faced on Friday afternoon, tagging the veteran for six runs on four hits and three walks in four innings of work, including a bomb to right field by Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber.

The Cubs would add one more in the eighth inning against reliever Cory Luebke, and the White Sox would tack on a pair before it was all said and done. Nicky Delmonico hit a solo home run into the left field bullpen in the bottom of the eighth inning, and Yoan Moncada led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a line-drive single, and eventually scored to narrow the Cubs lead to 7-3, where it would stand as the final score.

More important than the results of today’s Cactus League ballgame, like any Cactus League ballgame, was the individual performances that Michael Kopech and Zack Burdi turned in today.

Kopech entered the game in the top of the sixth inning, and immediately struck out Jason Heyward on three pitches. Kopech would make light work of the next two Cubs hitters as well, inducing a fly-out on one pitch from Cubs catcher Willson Contreras before mowing down Tommy La Stella on three pitches.

Kopech’s second inning of work was nearly as flawless as his seven-pitch sixth inning, allowing a single to Chesny Young in between striking out the side, setting down Jon Jay, Ian Happ, and Jeimer Candelario on strikes.

In his most efficient appearance this spring, Kopech dominated a mix of established major-league hitters as well as some of the Cubs best prospects, racking up five strikeouts around the lone base hit by Young. Kopech’s fastball reached as high as 102 miles per hour during his two innings of work on Friday.

Zack Burdi also turned in another solid inning of work on Friday, retiring the Cubs 1-2-3 on a strike out of Ian Happ and a pair of ground-outs to first base. It took Burdi only six pitches to get through another scoreless outing, his seventh in eight appearances this spring.

Other notable performances on the afternoon for the White Sox included Peter Bourjos, who turned in a 2-3 performance at the top of the Sox lineup, a spot that he will likely assume on Opening Day at this point. Leury Garcia, Nicky Delmonico, and Geovany Soto each collected one of the three White Sox runs driven in on Friday afternoon.

The White Sox are back in action on Saturday at Camelback Ranch against their neighbors, the Los Angeles Dodgers. First pitch is at 3:05 pm (CT), and the White Sox have Carson Fulmer scheduled to make the start, with Zach Putnam, and Jake Petricka among the scheduled relievers for the afternoon. Catch the action on the live webcast at whitesox.com, or tune into Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson‘s call on WLS-890AM.

Stay with us at The Loop Sports all spring as we provide frequent updates on the happenings at Camelback Ranch, Cactus League game updates and deep-dive analysis into the story-lines to watch!

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