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Forgettable Bookends, Sunday Sweep Result in White Sox Series Split vs. Red Sox

The White Sox leave Boston with a sub-.500 record after splitting a four-game set with the Red Sox.
Michael Kopech White Sox

Photo: Carlos Osorio/AP

In their early quest to reach the .500 mark, the Chicago White Sox once again come up short. While much has been made about the team's struggles so far, there were a few positives from this past weekend. The Boston Red Sox have fielded a competitive team early on in the season -- tops in the American League -- and the White Sox still found a way to split the series. Let's take a look at how the action unfolded.

Bullpen Comes Up Short On Saturday

Dylan Cease took the ball to start the series. While he has been far from flashy this season, Cease delivered a decent performance of 4.2 innings and just two runs on six hits. He was then relieved by Evan Marshall, who allowed three hits and an earned run in 1.1 innings pitched. However, the wheels quickly began to fall for the White Sox once Codi Heuer entered the game.

After a strong first frame of work, Heuer endured a disastrous eighth inning in which he allowed three runs while recording just two outs. Jose Ruiz entered the game and allowed another run before getting out of the inning. The White Sox bats couldn't make up the late deficit and eventually dropped the series opener 7-4.

Kopech's First Start At Fenway

White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti said it best: "Michael Kopech knew he would eventually start at Fenway Park, but he didn't think it would be as a visitor."

That is exactly what the most exciting pitching prospect on the South Side since the man he was traded for did on Sunday. Kopech replaced starter Lance Lynn, who landed on the injured list earlier in the day, and did not disappoint.

The 24-year-old fireballer only went three innings due to a perceived pitch count, but he certainly made his first start since 2018 count. Kopech allowed just one hit and a lone run while fanning four, an exciting start for an exciting prospect. Expect him to be the defacto #6 pitcher moving forward, filling in for any potential injuries in the rotation.

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Timmy Comes Out Swinging

To say Tim Anderson is a table-setter for the White Sox would be a gross understatement. Returning to full-time action this past week, the White Sox bats have noticeably come alive behind Anderson. In the Boston series, Anderson went 7-13 at the plate, including a right-center field shot on the first pitch thrown on Sunday.

Tim Anderson appears to be feeling like himself again. He received a rest day in the second game on Sunday, but just having him in the clubhouse makes the White Sox play with a noticeable edge. He is a rare player who makes everyone better and that has the White Sox bats trending in the right direction.

Giolito Has Morning To Forget

Lucas Giolito doesn't come off as a morning person and it certainly showed on Monday. In the matinee series finale, Giolito looked to help the White Sox surge above .500 with a strong outing. Instead, Giolito endured one of the worst outings of his career as the Red Sox exploded for six runs in the first inning.

A noticeable aspect of Giolito's rough outing was a lack of effectiveness from his typically dependable changeup. The Red Sox took advantage of the flat offspeed pitch and sprayed it around the park. Giolito's fastball had life and his command didn't appear to look wild, but every easy pitch he gave the Red Sox came back to bite him. Hopefully, this is just a rare outlier of a start and not the beginning of something bigger.

What's On Tap Next?

The White Sox now travel to Cleveland for a brief two-game series to wrap up their current road trip. The AL Central foes split their first head-to-head series of the season in Chicago last week with each team earning two victories. Both contests of the upcoming set will begin at 5:10 PM CT and air on NBC Sports Chicago.

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