Michael Kopech’s last start was during his rookie season, when he pitched 3 1/3 innings against the Tigers on Sept. 5, 2018. He allowed seven runs on nine hits and walked away with the loss. Just three days after, he was placed on the injured list to undergo Tommy John surgery.
More than two years later, Kopech made his fourth career start in Game 2 of Sunday’s twin bill, and it was vastly different from where he ended 2018. His dominant three-plus innings set the tone for the White Sox in their 5-1 win over the Red Sox as Chicago swept the doubleheader at Fenway Park. The White Sox won, 3-2, in the opener.
Kopech retired the first nine batters he faced before Boston’s first baserunners of the game. After Enrique Hernández walked and Alex Verdugo singled to start the fourth, Kopech was removed at 41 pitches.
Kopech was charged with the run when Hernández scored, but that was the only blemish on his line. He finished with one hit, one run, one walk and four strikeouts.
Kopech’s four-seam fastball was his most successful pitch against the Red Sox. It accounted for 56 percent of his pitches and was called a strike or whiffed at eight times, the most of any of his pitches per Statcast.
Chicago’s lineup capitalized on defensive miscues and the long ball to back Kopech and the bullpen.