LOTS OF FANS AT PARK

Gi­olito strikes out 13, helps Sox sweep 4-game series against Tigers

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN dvan­schouwen@sun­times.com | @CST_­sox­van

Zoned in from the first pitch on — no, check that, from his warmup pitch on — right-han­der Lu­cas Gi­olito pitched like the ace the White Sox need Thurs­day.

Gi­olito, strik­ing out 13 bat­ters in seven score­less in­nings to match his ca­reer high, did his part to help his streak­ing team com­plete a four-game sweep of the Tigers in a 9-0 vic­tory, the Sox’ fifth win in a row, at Guar­an­teed Rate Field.

He struck out the side in or­der in the sev­enth and fanned five of the last six Tigers he faced. Gi­olito al­lowed three hits, all sin­gles, and walked one.

Rid­ing fairly high into a crosstown series against the Cubs, the Sox (15-11) are feel­ing pretty good about them­selves. Tim An­der­son home­red for the fourth time in the series, and Eloy Jimenez, the for­mer Cubs prospect, tuned up for the week­end with his team-lead­ing eighth homer.

“We knew Day 1 of spring train­ing — look­ing around the club­house, see­ing the young guys, how far we’ve come, see­ing the new [vet­eran] faces — that it’s about time for us to turn that cor­ner,” Gi­olito said. “The more we’re play­ing to­gether, even though this is a weird, short year, we are coming to­gether, we’re get­ting closer. I wouldn’t think it would be pos­si­ble — we’re al­ready so close — but we’re get­ting closer on and off the field and let­ting it hap­pen.”

Gi­olito (2-2), who low­ered his ERA to 3.89, came in at 4.88 largely be­cause of two bad in­nings. He was coming off a bad start Satur­day against the Car­di­nals, who jumped on him for four runs on four hits, two hit bat­ters and a walk in the first in­ning. He also al­lowed four runs in the first in­ning on Open­ing Day against the Twins.

“Clean­ing up my first in­ning was a big point of em­pha­sis coming into this start,” Gi­olito said.

Those first in­nings were a topic of dis­cus­sion with other Sox starters in re­cent days, a sam­ple of how the ro­ta­tion is coming to­gether and to each other’s aid. Gi­olito sim­u­lated game sit­u­a­tions in the bullpen Thurs­day, ap­proach­ing it “as if I’m throw­ing my first in­ning in the pen.”

The 2019 All-Star was sharp from the getgo, strik­ing out Jeimer Can­de­lario and Ja­Coby Jones to start the game. Go­ing al­most ex­clu­sively with his fast­ball and changeup, Gi­olito got 21 swing­ing strikes from his sea­son-high 110 pitches.

Gi­olito’s fast­ball av­er­aged 94.5 mph, up one tick from his start against the Car­di­nals, and his last pitch was 97 mph.

He threw that one past Cameron May­bin on a 3-2 count and left with a 5-0 lead. Jimmy Cordero fin­ished up with two score­less in­nings.

“From the minute he started throw­ing to­day, he was all busi­ness,” catcher James Mc­Cann said. “He was ag­gres­sive from the get-go.”

Mc­Cann, who has lost time be­hind the plate with Yas­mani Gran­dal (out with a sore back) catch­ing most of the games, was al­ways in sync with Gi­olito as an All-Star bat­tery last sea­son. Gi­olito did not shake him off, not even when Mc­Cann called nine con­sec­u­tive change­ups in the sev­enth.

“That was James just know­ing what to do to get these guys out,” Gi­olito said. “Throw­ing to Mac, it’s a good thing for me, for sure.”

Throw­ing any­thing to An­der­son of late is a bad thing, and he con­nected against Tyler Alexan­der for his sixth homer of the sea­son in the fourth. Danny Men­dick dou­bled in a run in the third, and Ed­win En­car­na­cion (bases-loaded walk against Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull), No­mar Mazara and Mc­Cann drove in runs in a three-run first.

An­der­son sin­gled and scored in the eighth on Jose Abreu’s sec­ond dou­ble, and Jimenez drove in Abreu with his homer against Joe Jimenez.

An­der­son is bat­ting .519/.552/1.185 with five home runs and 13 runs scored in six games against the Tigers in 2020 and has hit safely in five con­sec­u­tive games, go­ing 10for-21 with four home runs dur­ing the streak.

“FROM THE MINUTE HE STARTED THROW­ING TO­DAY, HE WAS ALL BUSI­NESS. HE WAS AG­GRES­SIVE FROM THE GETGO.” JAMES MC­CANN, Sox catcher, on ace Lu­cas Gi­olito

JEFF HAYNES/AP

White Sox start­ing pitcher Lu­cas Gi­olito threw seven score­less in­nings Thurs­day against the Tigers. He al­lowed three sin­gles and walked one bat­ter.

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