CHICAGO (AP) — A little rain cut short Michael Kopech’s anticipated big league debut Tuesday night. Couldn’t damper his spirits, though.
Eddie Rosario led the Minnesota Twins to a 5-2 victory, but not before Kopech pitched two scoreless innings in a rain-shortened start and gave Chicago a glimpse of a potentially promising future.
“It was a dream come true,” Kopech said. “It was everything I thought about since I was a little kid. I was pumped.”
The game was tied at 2 before Minnesota pushed across three runs in the ninth. Jake Cave was thrown out when he tried to score from second on Mitch Garver’s pinch-hit single, but Dylan Covey (4-11) issued an intentional walk to Joe Mauer before Rosario greeted Jace Fry with a tiebreaking RBI single into center field.
Jorge Polanco tacked on a two-run single as Minnesota won for the sixth time in eight games. Trevor May (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the victory, and Taylor Rogers got three outs for his second save.
The 22-year-old Kopech, one of baseball’s top pitching prospects, struck out four of the 10 batters he faced before a 52-minute rain delay. Luis Avilan came in for the White Sox when the game resumed.
“I’m a little bummed out,” Kopech said. “I wanted to go a little deeper in the game. I didn’t realize my pitch count (52) was as high as it was.”
Kopech figures to have plenty of chances in the future.
“It wasn’t a tough decision. You worry more about the individual and the length of his career,” said bench coach Joe McEwing, who filled in for manager Rick Renteria the second straight night. “It was nothing but positives for Michael Kopech tonight.”
Leaning heavily on his blazing fastball, Kopech allowed three hits, hit a batter and walked none. The right-hander was acquired in the December 2016 trade that sent ace left-hander Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox, and the White Sox are counting on him to be a prominent figure in their rebuilding project.
Nicky Delmonico and Yoan Moncada homered for Chicago.
Minnesota grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Logan Forsythe and Jake Cave singled off Avilan with one out. After Robbie Grossman’s RBI single against Jeanmar Gomez, Cave scored during a rundown on which Grossman was tagged out on a steal attempt.
Moncada tied it at 2 with a solo drive off Gabriel Moya in the seventh.
Twins right-hander Jose Berrios allowed one run and four hits in five innings. He is winless in his last three starts.
“There was a lot of energy here,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “The Sox fans are very well aware of (Kopech) and the future. I thought he handled it pretty well.”
MORE TESTS FOR RENTERIA
Renteria will return to Chicago on Wednesday and undergo further testing, according to the team. The 56-year-old Renteria experienced lightheadedness and was hospitalized before Monday night’s 8-5 victory over the Twins in Minnesota.
“He sounds good,” said McEwing, who spoke with Renteria before Tuesday’s game. “He’s a very tough individual.”
AUSTIN IS SORRY
Twins first baseman Tyler Austin apologized for his father’s recent “embarrassing” tweets criticizing New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird. The Yankees opted to keep Bird instead of Austin, who was traded for pitcher Lance Lynn on July 30.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (sore right middle finger) will undergo an MRI on Wednesday, but Molitor said “it’s becoming less likely he’s going to play the rest of the season.” The organization has a $1 million buyout option on his $14 million contract for next season.
White Sox: INF Jose Abreu underwent outpatient surgery on his lower abdomen after complaining of discomfort upon his arrival to the ballpark. He could resume baseball-related activities in two weeks. … OF Leury Garcia will be sidelined for three to six weeks after an MRI showed a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring. OF Ryan LaMarre was recalled from Charlotte and RHP Tyler Danish was sent to the Triple-A club.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (7-9, 3.51 ERA) will take a career 6-3 record and 2.77 ERA against the White Sox into Wednesday’s game.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon has been on a roll of late – 3-0 record, 1.41 ERA and .148 opponent batting average over his last six starts.
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