Michael Kopech, White Sox have found groove

The Sox beat the Marlins 2-1 on Friday on Luis Robert Jr.’s walk-off single for their sixth win in the last seven games. Kopech will try to stay on a roll Saturday.

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Luis Robert Jr. celebrates with Andrew Benintendi after hitting a walk-off single Friday against the Marlins.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

There’s a certain level of patience required to be a major-league starting pitcher. Great stretches happen. Bad ones, too. Even for the best or most talented.

So Michael Kopech is never going to sweat a string of underwhelming results or puff his chest out after a few solid outings. For him, it’s all about the process.

“A lot of times you can be lucky, and a lot of times you can be unlucky,’’ Kopech told the Sun-Times on Friday. ‘‘Trusting that you’re doing everything right and checking those boxes I think matters more than what your results show. Sometimes the results show up, and sometimes they don’t. But as long as you’re consistent with your work, that builds a consistency in your mentality.”

Kopech always has checked that box, and it has shown in his results of late. After struggling with a 7.01 ERA in April, he enters his start Saturday against the Marlins with a 5-2 record and 2.72 ERA since the start of May.

“Part of it is seeing results and building off of that,’’ Kopech said, ‘‘part of it is finding more feel and consistency and not having to search so much from pitch to pitch. And that comes with reps. I’ve gotten a good feel physically, and with that comes a lot more confidence, a better pace and a little bit better mentality.”

The Sox haven’t quite crawled out of their early-season hole, but they’ve won six of seven and are 3½ games behind the American League Central-leading Twins. It’s a start, and it’s up to Kopech to set the tone again.

“There’s still some searching and work to be done, but I think winning solves a lot of that,” Kopech said. “I do feel a little bit of responsibility, trying to pick up the tempo and get us in a position where we can be a winning ballclub.”

Sharp staff

Dylan Cease entered Friday with a 4.63 ERA, a far cry from the 2.20 mark that earned him the runner-up spot in AL Cy Young voting last season. But in six innings against Miami in the Sox’ 2-1 victory, he was sharp as a tack, allowing one run and four hits and striking out seven.

“I feel like I’m pretty close,” Cease said when asked about the process of getting his mechanics and consistency back to peak form. “I’ve got plenty to get the job done. It’s just reaching that next level — which I still think I’ve got more in the tank.”

Keynan Middleton and Kendall Graveman extended their scoreless-inning streaks to 14 and 16, respectively, followed by Liam Hendriks in the ninth. That trio combined for three perfect innings on 42 pitches.

Coming up clutch

The Sox went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Entering the ninth inning, their only run came on a Yasmani Grandal solo shot.

But Luis Robert Jr. shook off an 0-for-3 start by lacing a walk-off single down the third-base line after Elvis Andrus singled, then advanced to second on a wild pitch and Andrew Benintendi was intentionally walked.

“That’s why you get four at-bats, five at-bats a game,” manager Pedro Grifol said.

Grifol also was highly complimentary of Tim Anderson’s throw home to beat a charging Jorge Soler when, with runners on second and third and one out in the sixth, Jesus Sanchez tapped a ground ball that could’ve broken a 1-1 tie. Cease escaped the jam by inducing a pop-up one batter later.

“That was a hell of a play right there in a big-time situation — and the ball was hit off the end a little bit, it had some really tough spin,” Grifol said. “It was probably the play of the game.”

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