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White Sox Draw First Blood at Wrigley in Crosstown Classic Opener

The White Sox manufactured early runs capped off by a solo homer from Tim Anderson and great pitching from Kopech and co. in win vs Cubs.

Tim Anderson White Sox
Photo: whitesox/Twitter

Playing through monsoon like conditions at Wrigley Field, the Chicago White Sox did enough to earn their second win in three games.

Temperature at game time was 45 degrees and rain blew across the field all night. “It was one of those games that was up there, toughest weather that I’ve probably played in,” Anderson said. “But good thing we got the win, that we (were) able to finish it.”

The Sox are beginning to show signs of life after a slow start despite terrible weather conditions.

Kopech is Coming

White Sox starter Michael Kopech pitched four solid innings of work. He relinquished four hits and two walks in this outing while striking out five and allowing no runs. But, a couple of long at-bats likely cost him another inning. Tony La Russa elected to use Reynaldo Lopez in the fifth after Kopech’s 83rd pitch. Kopech was not at all pleased with the decision.

Kopech has a 1.17 ERA in five starts, with 23 strikeouts over 23 innings this year. The promising young righty has done what he’s been asked to do. That said, it’s only a matter of time until the training wheels can come off. We’re watching him earn his innings and it’s been a pleasure to see.

The bullpen came on to record the last 15 outs. The combination of Lopez, Jose Ruiz, Aaron Bummer, Matt Foster, and Liam Hendriks finished the game. Collectively, they threw five innings, fanned seven, walked one, and allowed one run on two hits. All of the Cubs damage was charged to Ruiz, which was the only hiccup in an otherwise perfect game of relief. He allowed a double to Nico Hoerner that scored Ian Happ for the only Cubs run.

Cubs pitching on the day allowed one earned run, a solo homer in the third off of the bat of Tim Anderson. Cubs opener Scott Effross made his first big league start and took the loss.

Good Guys Strike First

The South Siders’ offense staked Kopech to an early 2-0 lead. Jose Abreu was safe at first on Patrick Wisdom‘s throwing error to lead off the second. Abreu reached third and then scored on a swinging bunt single by Jake Burger to open the scoring. Reese McGuire’s sacrifice to first base plated Adam Engel to make it a 2-0 lead.

It was in the third when Tim Anderson added the thirdand final run on a solo shot to right field. As we have seen, Sox hitters like to attack early in the count and Anderson did so here on the first pitch.

Notes

The Cubs pitcher Drew Smyly was scheduled to pitch but was a late scratch when he was placed on the bereavement list.

Jake Burger banged his left knee into the wall along the line while chasing a foul ball in the third. He stayed in the game.

Andrew Vaughn did not play for the fourth straight game. “He’s getting better, but it’s the kind of thing where if he tries to swing sore, might do something unnatural and make it sore,” La Russa said.

The White Sox improved 9-3 when scoring a run in the first three innings.

What’s On Tap Next?

The Sox and Cubs will go at it again with luckily no rain in Wednesday’s forecast. Lucas Giolito and Kyle Hendriks will toe the rubber in the finale at Wrigley. Giolito pitched six innings of three-run ball for the White Sox in a 5-1 loss to the Angels on Friday. Hendricks was roughed up for six runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings in a 11-1 loss to Milwaukee last week. You can catch it all on NBC Sports Net Chicago.

Tune in to the Sox On Tap podcast for additional postgame reaction and further White Sox commentary all season.

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