White Sox starter Michael Kopech exits in first inning with right knee discomfort

The White Sox suffered another hit Sunday as Michael Kopech left after throwing 12 pitches in the first inning.

SHARE White Sox starter Michael Kopech exits in first inning with right knee discomfort
Michael Kopech lasted only 12 pitches Sunday because of right knee discomfort.

Michael Kopech lasted only 12 pitches Sunday because of right knee discomfort.

Nam Y. Huh/AP

The White Sox suffered another hit Sunday as Michael Kopech left after throwing 12 pitches in the first inning.

Kopech, who has a 1.94 ERA and had limited opponents to a .140 batting average in 14 starts since the start of 2021, looked uncomfortable after throwing a 3-1 pitch to Adolis Garcia of the Rangers and walked behind the mound. The Sox said Kopech left with right knee discomfort and that he is being further evaluated.

After receiving medical attention, Kopech attempted to throw a warmup pitch but winced and stopped before going into his full windup.

Kopech, in obvious pain, walked off the mound and spiked the ball before leaving.

On four occasions this season, Kopech has pitched at least five innings and allowed only one hit.

Reynaldo Lopez, who threw two innings as an opener Friday, took over for Kopech and finished the at-bat with a strikeout.

Meanwhile, Yasmani Grandal’s left hamstring tightness might not be severe enough to place him on the 10-day injured list.

Manager Tony La Russa said Grandal was checked thoroughly before Sunday’s game, and “he’s feeling good.”

Grandal, who felt discomfort running to first base in the third inning of Saturday’s loss to the Rangers, is expected to undergo a series of tests in the next few days.

Seby Zavala was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to provide insurance. Zavala, 28, was batting .282 with eight home runs at Charlotte.

Unfortunately for the Sox’s well-worked bullpen, left-hander Aaron Bummer was placed on the 15-day IL, retroactive to Wednesday, because of a left lat strain.

Bummer, who has a 3.06 ERA in 20 appearances, was unavailable for at least the first two games of the Rangers’ series, in which the Sox used Lopez as an opener for two innings and Davis Martin for five innings on Friday and stretched Jimmy Lambert for 2 2/3 innings Saturday.

La Russa said the medical staff believes Bummer will be ready to return when he’s eligible June 24.

Because of the need for a fresh arm, Davis was optioned to Charlotte and left-hander Tanner Banks was recalled. Banks, 30, posted a 4.57 ERA in 14 appearances with the Sox earlier this year.

To make room for Zavala on the 40-man roster, designated hitter/catcher Yermin Mercedes was finally designated for assignment. Mercedes batted .230 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 25 games at Charlotte.

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