Gavin Sheets singled with one out in the ninth inning Monday against the Kansas City Royals. AJ Pollock’s pinch ran, representing the tying run for the Chicago White Sox.
It was quickly erased when Tim Anderson found himself in a late game double play.
The Sox had 10 hits but few results in a 2-1 loss in front of 17,500 at the guaranteed rate field.
“A run,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “Credit the pitch. (Daniel leaving Royals) Lynch, he kicked us out earlier in the year. Good pitcher. Bullpen stopped us. A few bullets hit hard.
“(Lynch) moves the ball. He has a good live fastball. Nice slider and a good change. I don’t know how many outs he got on his change, probably half a dozen. Two strikes, 3-2 counts. It’s a good throw.
The Sox lost a strong outing from starter Michael Kopech and lost ground in the American League Central to the first-place Minnesota Twins and second-place Cleveland Guardians, who beat the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Diamondbacks, respectively. Arizona, in a playoff fashion. The Sox trail the Twins by three games and the Guardians by two.
Kopech kept the Sox in the game, allowing two runs on six hits with three strikeouts and one walk in seven innings. He tied a career-high for innings while throwing a career-high 100 pitches.
He allowed a 452-foot homer to Salvador Perez in fourth and another solo homer to Whit Merrifield in sixth.
“I was happy with the way I pitched,” Kopech said. “I got ahead of a lot more guys than I have in the past. It gave me a chance to go deeper into the game, which is always a big goal for me.
“I made two – it’s hard to say mistakes because the ball Salvador hit was out of home plate. But he obviously liked it. And the pitch to Merrifield pushed me back. They’re two good hitters and if I want to get these guys out, you gotta run some throws. Other than that, I was happy with what I did.”
Kopech struggled after waking up with a “tight back”.
“I tried to work in the weight room and in the practice room before I came out and it never really let up until a few pitches in each set,” he said. “I was just trying to keep moving and not let it get stiff. But it didn’t really affect me. It was just awkward.
La Russa said Kopech was “exceptional” before adding: “Our attack has just been stopped. Didn’t create enough chances.
Lynch pitched six innings against the Sox on April 26, allowing two hits while striking out seven. He struck out seven more on Monday while allowing six hits in 5⅓ scoreless innings.
Andrew Vaughn opened the sixth with a brace against Lynch. Trailing 2-0, the Sox had their No. 4, 5 and 6 hitters due.
José Abreu lined up second, and after a pitching change, Wyatt Mills forced Eloy Jiménez and Yasmani Grandal out for shortstop Maikel Garcia.
The Sox scored in the seventh on Sheets’ sacrificial volley on the left to get less than a run. They had one-out singles in the eighth and ninth, but came back empty to fall to .500 at 51-51.
Prior to the game, the Sox added to their bullpen by acquiring left-hander Jake Diekman from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for catcher Reese McGuire and a player to be named or cash consideration.
“I know he can be really mean,” La Russa said of Diekman. “He will help us. Reese’s been a really good teammate and he’s going to be good there with Boston, so he ends up on his feet.
The closest to the Sox, Liam Hendriks, played with Diekman in Oakland.
“He has one of the highest caps of any left-hander in the league,” Hendriks said. “His stuff is unreal. Not only that, but he’ll fit in very well in this clubhouse.
” Nice bro. Good family. Excited to have him and he is an addition to our pen. Especially with this high-octane left-handed thing and all the things he can throw up there, it just brings a different look to what we’ve got.
The trade deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday, so the Sox have a few more hours to meet all their needs.
“I expect (general manager) Rick (Hahn) to try,” La Russa said when asked if he expected more offers. “I don’t know what more to say. I know he tries.