Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Giolito finds rhythm, but bullpen misstep costly

MLB.com @scottmerkin

KANSAS CITY -- On the first pitch thrown by Lucas Giolito Monday night at Kauffman Stadium, the White Sox right-hander found himself down one run.

But following that Whit Merrifield home run, Giolito grew awfully stingy over the next seven innings. He allowed three runs in total over seven, striking out three and walking two, in the Royals' 4-3 walk-off victory in 10 innings.

View Full Game Coverage

KANSAS CITY -- On the first pitch thrown by Lucas Giolito Monday night at Kauffman Stadium, the White Sox right-hander found himself down one run.

But following that Whit Merrifield home run, Giolito grew awfully stingy over the next seven innings. He allowed three runs in total over seven, striking out three and walking two, in the Royals' 4-3 walk-off victory in 10 innings.

View Full Game Coverage

Video: CWS@KC: Merrifield leads off bottom 1st with a homer

"Just tip my cap to Whit," said Giolito of the leadoff home run, which was followed by a walk to Adalberto Mondesi and an Alex Gordon double, but only one run scored in the first. "First pitch of the game, I pretty much always throw a fastball.

"I mislocated. I left it up over the middle of the plate and he did some damage to it. It happens. Like to have it back, get another shot at it, but it is what it is."

Kansas City (48-95) walked off with the win on a throwing error by Jeanmar Gomez off an Alcides Escobar sacrifice bunt to score Brian Goodwin. It was the sixth straight loss for the White Sox (56-88). Gomez might have had a play on Goodwin if he didn't hesitate, but then lofted the throw over Yolmer Sanchez.

Video: CWS@KC: Goodwin scores winning run in 10th on error

"He did a nice job getting to it quickly," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He saw the play, that it was designed for Sanchey to read and go back. Allow the pitcher to go ahead if he thought he had a play to go there. But that play just broke up by the errant throw, that was it."

Giolito has turned in six quality starts over his last eight trips to the mound and bounced back from a 1 1/3-inning effort in a loss to the Tigers, against whom he allowed five runs (four earned) on Tuesday. The right-hander didn't have his best stuff, calling it a grinder day, but recorded 12 ground-ball outs.

At 29 starts and 159 1/3 innings pitched during the 2018 season, Giolito still feels strong moving toward his final three starts.

"Physically, I feel good," Giolito said. "I feel like my innings aren't that high. I would like them to be higher, but earlier in the season wasn't very good. I actually feel better now physically than I did the first three months of the season, so that's a good indication.

"Fastball command was a little iffy. Definitely didn't have my changeup today. There were a few good ones, but not up to the standard it has been more recently. Grinded through it. Few mistakes. Got through seven innings so overall pretty solid."

Video: CWS@KC: Engel launches a solo homer to center field

The White Sox erased an early 2-0 deficit via a three-run outburst in the third off Royals starter Jakob Junis. Adam Engel homered to center field, his sixth of the season, and after Jose Abreu reached on a two-out infield hit, Daniel Palka pulled a drive just fair down the right-field line for his 22nd home run. Abreu had three hits in his first game played since Aug. 20, after recovering from surgery to relieve pain caused by testicular torsion.

Video: CWS@KC: Palka slugs a 2-run homer to right in the 3rd

That lead lasted until the sixth when Ryan O'Hearn connected for a game-tying solo home run with one out. Giolito topped out at 94.6 mph among his 106 pitches per Statcast™. He recorded seven swinging strikes, including four off the slider, but just one with the fastball.

"Like I said, I didn't have my best stuff or my best feel," Giolito said. "I don't think I'm going to go out there and strike out the world with what I had, but we were able to grind through."

SOUND SMART
Giolito put together his seventh straight quality start on the road, a stretch in which he's 4-1 with a 3.11 ERA and a .195 opponents average. It's tied for the third-longest streak in the Majors this season, trailing only Jacob deGrom (nine, active) and Justin Verlander (eight).

HE SAID IT
"I wasn't really good on first-pitch strikes and I fell behind a lot of guys. When runners were on base, I was able to flip it and get ahead of some guys and get some good outs."-- Giolito 

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Royals likely lost a run in the first when Mondesi's successful steal of second was overturned by video replay after Renteria challenged the call. Gordon followed with a long double to left-center field, which could have easily scored the fleet-footed Mondesi.

Video: CWS@KC: Castillo nabs Mondesi on overturned call

UP NEXT
Dylan Covey (5-12, 5.44) returns to the rotation to take the spot vacated by Michael Kopech, who figures to have Tommy John surgery to repair a significant tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. Covey starts Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium with a first pitch of 7:15 p.m. CT and Brad Keller is on the mound for the Royals. Covey is 4-10 with a 5.87 ERA over 17 starts and 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA over six relief appearances.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Lucas Giolito