CHICAGO -- Lucas Giolito's third start with the White Sox looked much like his second.
Baseball's No. 59 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, allowed one run over seven innings as the White Sox cruised to a 6-2 victory over the Rays on Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. The South Siders claimed the weekend series, dropping the Rays to 68-70 while staying four games out of the second American League Wild Card spot because of the Twins' loss to the Royals.
"I'm not going to say anything is a lost weekend," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of his club's 5-4 road trip. "It's a winning road trip. Nine out of 10 times we're going to take that and accept that. This trip, we probably needed to be a little bit better. It just puts more pressure on us to play good at home."
After throwing seven scoreless innings against the Tigers on Aug. 27, Giolito struck out a career-high 10 in his three-hit gem. He threw 51 fastballs in his 103 pitches, averaging 92.6 mph and topping out at 94.2, per Statcast™. Giolito had 17 swings and misses, with six coming on the fastball and eight on his changeup, which he threw 28 times.
"I threw a lot of changeups," said Giolito, who became the third White Sox pitcher in 2017 to strike out 10-plus batters. "Just commanding the fastball from the get-go, being able to throw it low and up in the zone. Just having that good rhythm with Smitty [catcher Kevan Smith] back there. I probably only shook him off once or twice. Just throwing good pitches in good situations and being able to stay ahead, for the most part."
Tim Anderson finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in three runs. He hit his 15th home run in the fifth inning off Tampa Bay starter Matt Andriese, who allowed five runs on six hits over five innings in his first start since June 10. The Rays got on the board in the fourth inning through Lucas Duda's 26th home run.
"I was consistent in the strike zone, but I think I made a couple pitches that were a little bit easier to hit," Andriese said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A little bit of an escape: The Rays put more than one man on base against Giolito just once. In the sixth inning, they had two on and two out with the red-hot Logan Morrison at the plate. Morrison entered the game having hit six home runs in as many games, but Giolito induced a weak grounder to third on a changeup to end the threat.
He's back: After missing the previous three games due to a pinch in his right elbow, Jose Abreu returned to the lineup as the White Sox designated hitter after Tyler Saladino was scratched due to a hand injury. In his second at-bat in the third inning, Abreu clocked his 27th homer of the season on the first pitch of the at-bat from Andriese, with Anderson on first base after an RBI single.
"We feed off him," Anderson said of Abreu's return.
"He's 6-[foot]-12, you know. He's a big guy and he's got a live fastball. He really wasn't throwing his fastball for a strike very much. He was just kind of throwing it where you could chase it, so it makes the changeup that much better when you can command it at the bottom of the zone and the fastball at the top of the zone." -- Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr., on Giolito
"I thought about it. If I get another at-bat, I would definitely try to hit a triple."-- Anderson, on falling a triple short of the cycle
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Giolito became the first pitcher to strike out 10 or more within their first three career starts with the White Sox since Chris Sale on April 20, 2012, at Seattle. He is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 14 innings over his last two starts.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With a pair of runners on and two outs in the seventh inning, Rays lefty Adam Kolarek's pitch low appeared to hit Matt Davidson on his left foot as Anderson and Avisail Garcia advanced on the play. Tampa Bay challenged that the pitch did not hit Davidson, and that it should be a wild pitch with a full count to Davidson. The call stood as called, and Davidson was awarded first base to load the bases as the Rays lost their challenge.
Rays: The Rays will return home Monday to start a critical three-game set against Minnesota at 7:10 p.m. ET. Alex Cobb will take the mound for his third start since coming off the 10-day DL, looking to match the quality start he posted in his last outing.
White Sox:James Shields opens the White Sox series against the red-hot Indians on Monday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field with first pitch at 1:10 p.m. CT. Shields is 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA over his last five starts despite allowing three earned runs or fewer in four of those starts (three quality starts).
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