Michael Kopech strikes out 10 as the Chicago White Sox sweep the Texas Rangers with an 8-4 win

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Lamond Pope, Chicago Tribune
·2 min read
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CHICAGO — Michael Kopech struck out Willie Calhoun on six pitches to begin Sunday’s Chicago White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field.

It was the start of an overpowering performance for the pitcher.

Kopech struck out 10 in five innings as the Sox beat the Rangers 8-4 to sweep the three-game series. He allowed one run on four hits on 87 pitches.

Kopech has primarily been used out of the bullpen this season. He was a spot starter for Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox on April 18 at Fenway Park; it was his first start since Sept. 5, 2018.

Lucas Giolito was originally scheduled to start Sunday, but he said he cut the top of the middle finger on his pitching hand while the team was in Cleveland on Monday night.

That opened the door for another start for Kopech, who struck out eight of the nine starters in the Rangers lineup at least once.

The Sox’s long-term plan is for Kopech to start, and he showed why Sunday. The first seven outs he recorded came via strikeout.

Kopech received plenty of help from the offense early. José Abreu hit a two-run home run in the first inning and the Sox added three runs in the second to make it 5-1. Nick Madrigal knocked in two with a triple during a three-run third as the Sox extended the lead to 8-1.

Kopech struck out at least two batters in four of his five innings, including three in the first and second.

The Sox (12-9) extended their winning streak to a season-high four games. They are off Monday and begin a three-game series Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers with Giolito scheduled to pitch.