SURPRISE, Ariz – The Chicago White Sox had a match-up against their division rivals, the Kansas City Royals, for the first time this spring. Michael Kopech took the mound today for his second start, facing a Royals lineup that featured some of their regular MLB starters.
Michael Kopech pitched another solid outing, but his control was a little off today through 2.1 innings of work. The umpire was calling a tough game and there were a few pitches that should’ve been called for strikes that weren’t. His fastball didn’t hit 100 mph today, however, he still had no problem blowing it by Cody Asche, Tyler Collins, and Drew Butera as he rang all of them up.
Kopech issued his first walk of the spring while also giving up a run (unearned). He didn’t get much help from his fielders today, as Jose Rondon dropped a pop up that eventually lead to a run. That would be the only run that the Royals were able to get off Kopech today and he exited the game after the error. The final line for Michael Kopech: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.
Rob Scahill and Bruce Rondon made appearances on the mound and both had successful outings. Each of them didn’t allow a hit and didn’t issue a walk either. Scahill went 1.2 IP with three strikeouts and picked up the win, continuing his impressive start to Spring Training. Rondon went one full inning with three strikeouts. He put his hard fastball on display today as he was throwing in the mid-to-upper 90’s.
Pitching prospect Jordan Stephens would finish the game off for the White Sox, throwing the final three innings. His curveball and changeup were on today, as he was able to fool a pair of batters on his way to two strikeouts. The final line for Jordan Stephens: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 2 K. After TJ House was roughed up for 4 runs, the aforementioned pitchers only allowed the Royals to get one hit in the game.
Offensively, the game got off to a rough start for the White Sox as the first four batters of the game struck out. Ryan Cordell got the scoring started this afternoon with a triple in the 2nd inning that brought Casey Gillaspie in to score. Later that inning, Omar Narvaez would bring Cordell home with an RBI single to push the Sox’ lead to 2-0.
The Royals would battle back in the 3rd inning when they tied the game and took advantage of an error by Daniel Palka. It was a mess in the outfield today and that was not the only error. Ryan Cordell also made an error on a fly ball that should’ve been caught. Luis Robert and Jacob May collided in the outfield later in the game as they both went for a ball and neither of them called for it. Luckily, no one was injured and the out was made despite the collision.
In the 4th inning, the Royals would push three more runs across the board and take a 5-2 lead. The Royals pitchers held the White Sox in check until the 6th inning when the White Sox pushed six runs across the board. This rally proved to be enough for the White Sox to get the victory this afternoon.
The two-out, 6th inning rally got started with a Ryan Cordell single for his second hit of the afternoon. He would later score on an error that allowed Jose Rondon to reach base. Some more highlights from the inning included a Charlie Tilson RBI single, a Matt Davidson two-run triple, a Jacob May RBI single, and a Micker Adolfo RBI single. Micker had two plate appearances today and he reached base on both of them with a single and a hit by pitch.
The White Sox would add an insurance run in the 8th inning as Luis Alexander Basabe hit an opposite-field solo home run. Luis Robert also picked up a hit today. In the 9th inning, he hit a single up the middle in his only plate appearance this afternoon.
The entire team played well today. The pitchers were able to keep the Royals silent after the 4th inning. The White Sox picked up 16 hits today on their way to victory. Despite the three errors in the field, the White Sox had a solid day throughout their lineup. Once again, they showed that they can fight as they regained the lead and never looked back.
Player of the Game: Ryan Cordell (2-4, 3B, 1B, RBI, 2 R).
Next Game: Sunday, March 4. 2:05 CT with Carson Fulmer on the mound.