CHICAGO — A little rain cut short White Sox rookie Michael Kopech’s anticipated big league debut Tuesday night. Couldn’t damper his spirits, though.
Eddie Rosario led the Minnesota Twins to a 5-2 victory, but not before Kopech, a former Red Sox prospect, tossed two scoreless innings in a rain-shortened start and gave Chicago a glimpse of a potentially promising future.
“It was a dream come true,” said Kopech, who was part of the Chris Sale trade in December 2016. “It was everything I thought about since I was a little kid. I was pumped.”
The game was tied at 2 before Minnesota pushed across three runs in the ninth. Jake Cave was thrown out when he tried to score from second on Mitch Garver’s pinch-hit single, but Dylan Covey (4-11) issued an intentional walk to Joe Mauer before Rosario greeted Jace Fry with a tiebreaking RBI single into center field.
Jorge Polanco tacked on a two-run single as Minnesota won for the sixth time in eight games. Trevor May (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the victory, and Taylor Rogers got three outs for his second save.
The 22-year-old Kopech, one of baseball’s top pitching prospects, struck out four of the 10 batters he faced before a 52-minute rain delay. Luis Avilan came in for the White Sox when the game resumed.
“I’m a little bummed out,” Kopech said. “I wanted to go a little deeper in the game. I didn’t realize my pitch count (52) was as high as it was.”
Kopech figures to have plenty of chances in the future.
“It wasn’t a tough decision. You worry more about the individual and the length of his career,” said bench coach Joe McEwing, who filled in for manager Rick Renteria the second straight night. “It was nothing but positives for Michael Kopech tonight.”
Leaning heavily on his blazing fastball, Kopech allowed three hits, hit a batter, and walked none. The White Sox are counting on him to be a prominent figure in their rebuilding project.
Nicky Delmonico and Yoan Moncada homered for Chicago.
Minnesota grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Logan Forsythe and Jake Cave singled off Avilan with one out. After Robbie Grossman’s RBI single against Jeanmar Gomez, Cave scored during a rundown on which Grossman was tagged out on a steal attempt.
Moncada tied it at 2 with a solo drive off Gabriel Moya in the seventh.
Twins right-hander Jose Berrios allowed one run and four hits in five innings. He is winless in his last three starts.
“There was a lot of energy here,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “The Sox fans are very well aware of [Kopech] and the future. I thought he handled it pretty well.”