Michael Kopech allowed just one hit and struck out 10 over eight shutout innings and Gavin Sheets and Romy Gonzalez drove in early runs as the Chicago White Sox blanked the visiting Kansas City Royals 2-0 on Friday night.
Kopech retired the first 16 Royals in order while striking out at least one batter in each of his first six innings. Michael Massey hit broken-bat single to right field in the sixth for Kansas City’s first baserunner.
Kopech (2-4) regrouped, though, getting the next batter, Jackie Bradley Jr., to ground into a double play. Kopech did not walk a batter and faced the minimum over his career-best eight innings while throwing 98 pitches, 65 for strikes.
Kendall Graveman assured Chicago faced the minimum overall, working a perfect ninth for his third save. Bradley flew out to the warning track in center field to end the game.
Second-inning small ball propelled the White Sox to the only offense they would need. Yoan Moncada, Andrew Vaughn, and Gavin Sheets started the innings with singles to right field, with Sheets’ hit scoring Moncada for the game’s first run.
Gonzalez added a sacrifice fly later in the inning for a 2-0 Chicago lead.
Royals starter Zack Greinke (1-5) lost for the first time in four starts this month. The right-hander surrendered two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings with no walks and four strikeouts.
Kansas City escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, as Bobby Witt Jr. made a strong throw from the hole at shortstop to retire Jake Burger to end the threat.
Jackson Kowar, who entered with one on and one out in the sixth, worked out of trouble after walking the first two White Sox he faced. Kowar pitched 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief with three strikeouts.
None of Chicago’s five hits went for extra bases.
Chicago improved to 2-3 against Kansas City this season. The Royals took three of four from the White Sox from May 8-11 in Kansas City.
–Field Level Media
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