Kopech, Mercedes fuel twinbill sweep

April 19th, 2021

Having boasted one of the top farm systems in the league for the last few years, the White Sox young talent was on full display in Boston on Sunday.

Powered by a strong start from  and a moonshot off the bat of , the South Siders defeated the Red Sox 5-1 in Game 2 of a doubleheader to sweep the twinbill at Fenway Park.

Following a 3-2 victory in Game 1, MLB Pipeline's No. 34 overall prospect took the hill for his first start since 2018. The right-hander was sharp early against the club that drafted him No. 33 overall in 2014, retiring the first nine batters he faced -- fanning four. The 24-year-old needed just 10 pitches to navigate through the opening frame and eight in the third.

After Kopech yielded his first baserunner on a five-pitch walk to Enrique Hernandez to lead off the fourth, Alex Verdugo punched an 0-2 97.4 mph fastball into center for the first Boston knock. Matt Foster promptly replaced Kopech on the hill, and after J.D. Martinez drove in Hernandez with an RBI single back up the middle, Foster escaped the inning without any further damage.

Chicago's second-ranked prospect threw 25 of his 41 pitches for strikes -- flashing 98.2 mph on the radar gun -- and is now sporting a 1.69 ERA with 17 punchouts over 10 2/3 frames.

Mercedes supplied the difference for the White Sox with a solo blast to lead off the fourth that was absolutely demolished. The club's 20th-ranked prospect was not fooled by an 84.5 mph changeup from Martin Pérez and launched it 431 feet to dead-center at 109.9 mph. The blast put Chicago ahead 2-0 and was Mercedes' fourth dinger in 14 games this season -- and his eighth hit for extra bases. The slugger is now batting .415/.456/.717 on the season.

The South Siders also got key contributions from another pair of top prospects.  roped a double down the line in right in the sixth. It was the third double of the year for the top White Sox prospect, who has five hits and six walks over 10 games this season.

 also provided the final out of the fifth inning for Chicago. After yielding a single to pinch-hitter Bobby Dalbec, MLB Pipeline's No. 48 overall prospect whiffed Hernandez on a 2-2 changeup that dropped out of the zone. The southpaw was credited with his second career hold and has amassed seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 frames this season.

Here are more top rookie performances from Sunday's games:

Kyle Isbel, OF, KC The fifth-ranked Royals prospect notched his fourth multi-hit performance of the season. Isbel legged out an infield hit to second in the second inning before leading off the sixth with a base hit that he tried to stretch into an extra base on an errant throw to first but was tagged out at second. The 24-year-old also flashed the leather with a slick catch against the wall in foul territory. Gameday »

Camilo Doval, RHP, SF
The 23-year-old made his debut in The Show and was perfect in a frame of relief with a pair of strikeouts. After whiffing Jesus Aguilar on three pitches, Doval got Garrett Cooper to ground out weakly to third before freezing Adam Duvall on a 1-2 slider that caught the top of the zone. The 24th-ranked Giants prospect allowed one earned run and fanned seven over five Cactus League appearances this spring. More »

Emmanuel Clase, RHP, CLE The Indians rookie locked down his fourth save of the season after striking out the side to seal a 6-3 victory over the Reds. Clase worked around a leadoff single from Tucker Barnhart to punch out Nick Senzel, Jonathan India and Jesse Winker. The 23-year-old has yet to allow an earned run this season over eight appearances and has amassed 10 strikeouts over 7 1/3 frames. Gameday »

Peter Solomon, RHP, HOU
The 14th-ranked Astros prospect made his Major League debut in the eighth and tossed a hitless frame. Solomon worked around a one-out walk to not allow a ball out of the infield as Evan White grounded out to short, and Taylor Trammell and Tom Murphy both popped out to third. The 24-year-old made a pair of Grapefruit League relief appearances for Houston this spring and allowed one run over four frames with five strikeouts. Gameday »

Bobby Dalbec, INF, BOS The 25-year-old appeared in both games of Boston’s twinbill on Sunday and collected three hits on the day. Dalbec laced a double into center in the third inning of Game 1 before adding a base knock in the fifth. In the second game, Dalbec pinch-hit for Franchy Cordero with two out in the fifth and punched a ground ball right back up the middle to extend the inning. It was the infielder’s third multi-hit day of the season. Gameday » (Game 1), Gameday » (Game 2)