The White Sox earned their first win as they defeated the Angels by a final of 12-8. This game had just about everything you could ask for between the two star-studded lineups. We witnessed Jose Abreu’s first major offensive contribution, a grand slam, in the top of the third. We also saw an incredible 5-for-5, 4 RBI debut for Yermin Mercedes, a dazzling performance from the fire hurling Michael Kopech, and Liam Hendriks’ first appearance with his new team. The Sox improve to 1-1 on the season, and look to secure at least a split in the four game set with a win tomorrow.
W: Michael Kopech (1-0) | L: Andrew Heaney (0-1) | S: Liam Hendriks (1)
Yermin Mercedes: 5-for-5, 4 RBI, 2 2B
It was a night to remember for Yermin Mercedes. Someone who was passed over by multiple organizations year after year, did something that no one in a White Sox uniform has ever done before. Mercedes joins just Washington’s Cecil Travis to achieve five hits in their first career start – which occurred 88 years ago. Mercedes reached base in all five trips, driving in FOUR runs in his first ever game. The injury to Eloy Jimenez forced the White Sox to shift around their lineup. However, if this is any foreshadowing of the season Mercedes will have, the White Sox and their fans are in for a very pleasant surprise.
Jose Abreu: 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
The defending AL MVP showed his power once again for the Sox in a big way during the top of the third. Abreu’s grand slam was his 199th career home run, as he closes in on the 200 milestone. Pito would be just the fifth member of the White Sox to hit over 200 homers, joining Frank Thomas (448), Paul Konerko (432), Harold Baines (221), and Carlton Fisk (214).
Give our new friend, Len Kasper, and his call of the slam a listen:
Yasmani Grandal: 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 2B
A theme similar to last season, the White Sox would find ways to tack on insurance runs late in the game. After Tim Anderson had already gone deep in the top of the 9th, Grandal drove in a pair of runs with a two-out RBI double to push the lead to 10-6.
Michael Kopech: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Michael Kopech returned to the mound for the first time since September 2018, and it looked like he hadn’t missed a game. In what was a pretty high-pressure situation, Kopech was absolutely incredible in his season debut.
Matchup of the Game
One of the more pivotal at-bats in this one came in the third inning, as Luis Robert stepped in the box with two runners on and two outs. Heaney tried his best to get Robert to chase pitches out of the zone, but Luis was able to work a walk to load the bases. Jose Abreu would promptly unload them just a few pitches later and give the White Sox a 4-1 lead.
Player of the Game
Yermin Mercedes. That is all.
The White Sox and Angels will battle in game three of the four game set tomorrow at 8:07 CDT. Offseason signee Lance Lynn will make his first start in a White Sox uniform, battling Alex Cobb.
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