After storming back to tie the Cubs in a 6-6 stalemate yesterday, the White Sox fell short in a Tuesday afternoon affair against their North Side rivals, losing 8-5.
Michael Kopech took the mound in the Spring Training finale, and did not look his best. While he struggled to the tune of allowing five earned runs (on five hits and three walks), he did strike out seven, which is a good sign that his swing-and-miss stuff is active and presenting a steep challenge for hitters. Per Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun Times, Kopech will start the home opener when the Sox host the San Francisco Giants on Monday, April 3rd.
Romy González stayed scorching hot, hitting his second homer in as many days. He smacked a solo shot to left-center in the top of the first inning off Drew Smyly, his sixth bomb of Spring Training. The infielder has enjoyed a strong Spring, posting a .961 OPS across 48 at-bats. Gonzalez has proven that he deserves to be on the Opening Day roster, which was reported to be the case roughly 48 hours ago.
Andrew Vaughn, Chicago’s likely Opening Day first baseman, also went deep in the ballgame, posting a solo shot of his own off Smyly. The Vaughn bomb tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the third inning. He also posted excellent numbers throughout camp, recording a .351 average and .980 OPS across 37 at-bats. His presence in the lineup will be relied upon heavily throughout the course of the 2023 season, and all indications point to him being up to the challenge.
After another González RBI (single scoring Nate Mondou) in the top of the fourth inning, the Sox lead was stretched to 5-2. However, the Cubs would go on to score six unanswered off Kopech and Luke Shilling, avenging the six unanswered that the Sox scored yesterday to force a tie.
With the loss, the White Sox conclude Spring Training with a 12-14 record.
W: Bailey Horn (1-1) | L: Luke Shilling (0-1)
- Romy González: 2-for-3, solo HR, 2 RBI
- Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-3, solo HR, RBI
- Nate Mondou: 2-for-2, BB, 2B, RBI
- Gavin Sheets: 1-for-3, R
- DJ Gladney: 2-for-3, 2B
- Michael Kopech: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
- Luke Shilling: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
- Austin Warner: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
The White Sox will head to Houston for Opening Day where they’ll square off against the defending World Series champs and former stalwart José Abreu. Right-hander Dylan Cease will toe the rubber against Houston’s southpaw ace, Framber Valdez.
The game will be aired nationally on ESPN, with a start time of 6:00 PM CST.
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Featured Photo: © Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports