Chicago White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech sputtered in his most recent outing while pitching in his native Texas.
Now back in his home ballpark, Kopech hopes to help the inconsistent White Sox finally find their footing Friday as the team opens a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers to kick off a seven-game homestand.
Kopech has lost his past two starts, and is coming off Saturday's dud, when the host Rangers touched the Longview, Texas, native for four runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings.
"I'd like to think it was just another day, but there are a lot of family and friends, and I grew up watching a lot of Rangers games," Kopech said. "Coming back home and not doing my best stings a little bit more.
"I made some good pitches early, then pressed a little too much and put myself and my team in a tough situation. Just have to be better pitch to pitch. A tough one to swallow."
Kopech (4-8, 3.38 ERA) is 1-4 with a 3.14 ERA in 10 home starts this season. That compares to 3-4 with a 3.64 ERA on the road.
He has faced the Tigers in both settings this season, pitching to a 2.89 ERA over two no-decisions covering 9 1/3 innings. Kopech is 1-1 with a 4.98 ERA in five career appearances against the Tigers, including four starts.
Chicago again finds itself at .500 following a 3-5 road trip to Texas and Kansas City, which culminated with a 5-3 loss to the Royals on Thursday afternoon.
The White Sox stranded 11 while batting 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Detroit has lost four straight and 10 of 12. Attempting to fend off a three-game sweep by the visiting Cleveland Guardians, the Tigers lost 4-3 in 10 innings on Thursday, surrendering a run in the 10th inning after rallying for two in the bottom of the ninth.
Lefty Daniel Norris (0-4, 6.90 ERA) gets the call for the Tigers as he makes his season debut with the team. He made 139 previous appearances, including 77 starts for Detroit from 2015-2021.
Norris signed a minor league contract with Detroit shortly after being released by the Chicago Cubs late last month. He started three games for Triple-A Toledo since rejoining the organization.
"It's been quite a year for him," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. "He lost the strike zone early, trying to do a lot of different things and avoid hard contact, avoid home runs. He started chasing his own tail a little bit. When he got released and came over here, he was committed to being over the strike zone."
Norris is 3-2 with a 4.33 ERA in 17 career appearances against the White Sox, seven of them starts.
Friday marks the first of nine scheduled meetings between the White Sox and Tigers in the second half of the season, with six games set for Chicago.
Chicago leads the season series 7-3.
--Field Level Media