The White Sox battled late and put the tying run on base, but in the end, the Astros won the series.
Michael Kopech got the start in this game for the White Sox just over a week after suffering from right knee inflammation. His velocity was noticeably down today – he averaged 93.9 mph on his fastball today, compared to 95.3 mph on the season. However, he battled through five innings, with his biggest blemishes coming off two “Crawford Box” home runs in left field that just barely found their way over the wall. Kopech was followed by scoreless innings from Jimmy Lambert and Vince Velasquez, saving a beleaguered bullpen once more in the process.
On offense, Astros starter Christian Javier gave the White Sox plenty of chances to get things going, but they weren’t able to cash in until late in this game. As a whole, the White Sox walked five times on the evening, and largely had pretty solid at-bats all night. The offense came via a Luis Robert RBI double, an AJ Pollock RBI triple, and a Jake Burger RBI groundout. The offense could only manage six hits in the effort, with four of them coming courtesy of Robert and Pollock.
With the loss, the White Sox fall to 31-33, but don’t lose any ground in the AL Central.
W: Christian Javier (4-3) | L: Michael Kopech (2-3) | S: Ryan Pressly (13)
White Sox Scoring Recap:
Top 5th: Luis Robert doubles to RF. Danny Mendick scores. 2-1 Astros
Top 8th: AJ Pollock triples to LF. Luis Robert scores. 4-2 Astros
Top 8th: Jake Burger grounds out to 2B. AJ Pollock scores. 4-3 Astros
Michael Kopech: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
It wasn’t Kopech’s strongest effort on the season, and as previously mentioned, his velocity was down a few ticks likely due to his knee pain. However, it was a gritty effort from Kopech, who kept the White Sox in the game even without his best stuff. Hopefully, over the course of the next few weeks, Kopech’s condition will continue to improve as he looks to build up his knee strength.
AJ Pollock: 2-for-3, 3B, RBI, R, BB
AJ Pollock brought this game closer in the top of the eighth inning, tripling to LF off of Hector Neris to pull the White Sox within two. By reaching base three times in the effort, Pollock’s average now sits at .261 with a 101 wRC+, as he continues to show he has turned it around at the plate.
Luis Robert: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R, K
Luis Robert had himself a nice series in Houston, adding onto yesterday’s three-hit effort with another multi-hit performance today. One of the best signs for Robert is his propensity to go to the opposite field with authority in recent games, showing that it is likely only a matter of time until he really begins to get going at the plate with some power. Despite a bit of a power shortage, Robert is still hitting .294 on the season.
The Next Matchup
The White Sox return home tomorrow night to take on the Blue Jays as part of a seven-game homestand. Lance Lynn will make his second start of the season against Jose Berrios.
The game will start at 7:10 PM CT and can be viewed on NBC Sports Chicago.
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Featured Image: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports