The Chicago White Sox squander Michael Kopech's great performance in a 2-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals

Gavin Sheets singled with one out in the ninth inning Monday against the Kansas City Royals. AJ Pollock pinch-runner, which was the tying run for the Chicago White Sox.

It was quickly erased when Tim Anderson rolled in for a game-ending double play.

The Red Sox had 10 hits but little to show for it in a 2-1 loss in front of 17,500 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“One run,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “Give credit to the launch. (Royals starter Daniel) Lynch shut us out earlier in the year. Good pitcher. Bullpen shut us down. A couple of balls hit hard.

“(Lynch) moves the ball. He has a good live fastball. Good slider and a good change. I don’t know how many outs he got on his change, probably half a dozen. Two strikes, accounts of 3-2. That’s a good pitch.”

The Red Sox squandered a solid outing by starter Michael Kopech and lost ground in the AL Central to the first-place Minnesota Twins and second-place Cleveland Guardians, who beat the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Diamondbacks. Arizona, respectively, in the form of parting. The Sox are three games behind the Twins and two behind the Guardians.

Kopech kept the Sox in the game, allowing two runs on six hits with three strikeouts and a walk in seven innings. He set a career-high innings while throwing a career-high 100 pitches.

He allowed a 452-foot homer to Salvador Pérez in the fourth and another solo homer to Whit Merrifield in the sixth.

“I was happy with the way I pitched,” Kopech said. “I got ahead of a lot more guys than in the past. It gave me the opportunity to go deeper into the game, which is always a big goal for me.

“I made two, it’s hard to say mistakes because the ball that Salvador hit was off the plate. But he obviously liked him. And the pitch to Merrifield set me back. Those are two good hitters and if I’m going to get those guys out, you have to run pitches. Other than that, I was happy with what I did.”

Kopech struggled after waking up with a “tight back.”

“I tried to figure it out in the weight room and training room before I went out and it never really loosened up until a few pitches each inning,” he said. “I was just trying to keep moving and not let it get stiff. But it didn’t really affect me. It was just annoying.”

La Russa called Kopech “outstanding” before adding: “Our offense just shut down. He didn’t create enough chances.”

lynch pitched six scoreless innings against the Sox on April 26, allowing two hits and striking out seven. He struck out seven more on Monday and allowed six hits in 5⅓ scoreless innings.

Andrew Vaughn led off the sixth with a double against Lynch. Trailing 2-0, the Red Sox had their Nos. 4, 5 and 6 hitters beaten.

José Abreu lined out to second, and after a pitching change, Wyatt Mills got Eloy Jiménez and Yasmani Grandal to ground out to shortstop Maikel García.

The Sox scored in the seventh on Sheets’ sacrifice fly to left field to get within a run. They had one-out singles in the eighth and ninth, but came up empty-handed and fell back to .500 at 51-51.

Before the game, the Red Sox increased their bullpen by acquiring left-hander Jake Diekman from the Boston Red Sox for catcher Reese McGuire and a player to be named or cash considerations.

“I know it can be very unpleasant,” La Russa said of Diekman. He will help us. Reese has been a great teammate and he’s going to have a good position there with Boston, so he ends up on his feet.”

Red Sox closer Liam Hendriks played with Diekman in Oakland.

“He has one of the highest ceilings of any lefty in the league,” Hendriks said. “Your material of him is unreal. Not only that, but it will fit nicely in this clubhouse.

“Great friend. Good family. Excited to have it and it is a compliment to our pen. Especially with that high-octane lefty stuff and everything you can throw in there, it just gives it a different look than what we have.”

The trade deadline is Tuesday at 5:00 pm, so the Sox have a few more hours to take care of any needs.

“I hope (general manager) Rick (Hahn) tries it,” La Russa said when asked if he expected more deals. “I do not know what else to say. I know he is trying.

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