Michael Kopech, Andrew Vaughn help White Sox gain doubleheader split

As spot starters go, it’s always nice to have Michael Kopech available.

As spot starts go, four innings of one-run ball from Kopech will do just fine, especially in a seven-inning game.

The talented right-hander, making his third start to go with seven relief appearances, positioned the White Sox to gain a split of their split doubleheader with the Royals on Friday night, holding Kansas City in check in a 3-1 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“He gave us a lift, and our bullpen was outstanding,” manager Tony La Russa said. “The worst thing we could do is take him for granted.”

It was a good bounce-back after a 6-2 loss in Game 1 in which Jose Abreu was injured in a collision with Hunter Dozier.

“I was concerned because guys were really shaken,” La Russa said. “The clubhouse was very quiet.”

The Sox (23-14) have won seven of their last eight.

Kopech allowed two hits, including a home run by Carlos Santana in the third inning. After that, he struck out the side in the fourth and called it a night.

“I knew things were a little down [after Game 1], especially after we had been so up the last six games or so,” Kopech said.

“I felt like I competed well and did the job I was supposed to do today.”

Codi Heuer (3-1) pitched a scoreless fifth, Aaron Bummer a perfect sixth and Liam Hendriks a…

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