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Giolito finding rhythm, works into 6th inning

White Sox righty makes adjustment after allowing 2-run first
MLB.com @RichardJustice

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Lucas Giolito became the first White Sox starter to reach the sixth inning on Thursday night, and along the way, he continued a spring that has very much solidified his status as a once and future ace.

He allowed two first-inning runs -- more on that later -- and very little after that. In three Cactus League starts, Giolito has a 3.18 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 13 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Lucas Giolito became the first White Sox starter to reach the sixth inning on Thursday night, and along the way, he continued a spring that has very much solidified his status as a once and future ace.

He allowed two first-inning runs -- more on that later -- and very little after that. In three Cactus League starts, Giolito has a 3.18 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 13 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

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"I felt like I got stronger as the game went on, which is always a good feeling as a starting pitcher," Giolito said as the White Sox were putting the finishing touches on a 7-2 victory over the Angels.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

He wasn't pleased with how the game started. Giolito allowed a triple and home run in the bottom of the first inning and credited a mound visit from catcher Kevan Smith for getting him going.

"Came out in the first inning [and] I did not have the -- I guess you'd say -- intensity that I should have had from the get-go," Giolito said. "For me, it's important to come out of the gate firing, and I came out in the first inning kind of like just feeling stuff out. You're not really going to have success like that. Unfortunately, it took a triple and a home run to really start to get going. 'Smitty' took a really good mound visit with me, just went over some things, and then from there it felt a lot better."

White Sox Spring Training info

White Sox manager Rick Renteria could announce his Opening Day starter as soon as Saturday, and while veteran James Shields may get the nod, none of his pitchers is going better than Giolito as he prepares for his first full Major League season.

Video: Renteria discusses the development of Giolito

He made his White Sox debut last June and was as good as advertised in seven starts with a 2.38 ERA and a dazzling 0.95 WHIP. This spring has been about continuing to polish his stuff and get more and more comfortable in the Majors.

"Just working on things I was working on in the offseason," Giolito said. "Throwing the curveball better. Throwing that two-seam changeup, throwing the fastball. Was glad to end the game with what [pitching coach Don Cooper] likes to call the moneyball, fastball down and away, ended the outing on. Can't wait to get the season started."

Video: CWS@LAA: Giolito strikes out Carter looking

Sox believe in Fulmer
Renteria expressed confidence that 24-year-old right-hander Carson Fulmer can get straightened out in time to make the Opening Day rotation.

"We still have a little bit more trust in him than you might think," Renteria said. "He might be pressing a little bit."

Fulmer huddled with Cooper a day after allowing seven runs, including three home runs, in a 1 2/3-inning stint against the Brewers. On the positive side, the White Sox are encouraged that Fulmer's pure stuff is still very good and that he's getting in front of hitters before missing with a pitch that has cost him.

In four starts, Fulmer has allowed seven home runs in 6 2/3 innings. His ERA is 18.90.

"I'm more interested in seeing how the next outing is going to be," Renteria said. "Again, to say that people wouldn't be thinking about where he's at right now, would be a lie.

"We do trust what he did with us last year and how he gained ground through the latter part of the season. We're still confident in the young man and his ability to pitch at the Major League level."

Video: CWS@MIL: Fulmer talks his outing, turning the page

Injury updates
Left fielder Nicky Delmonico could be back in the lineup on Friday. He hasn't played since bruising a shoulder in a collision with Tyler Saladino on Sunday. Delmonico has been taking batting practice and said he needs to clear one more round of tests.

"He's pain-free completely," Renteria said. "He feels like he's at normal status."

Video: ARI@CWS: Delmonico collides with Saladino, exits game

As for Saladino, Renteria is targeting a Sunday return if he continues to rebound from a minor concussion.

"We put him through some more rigors inside," Renteria said. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow morning when he comes in."

Worth noting
The White Sox had 11 hits Thursday night, including three (two doubles and a triple) by shortstop Leury Garcia.

Video: CWS@LAA: Garcia drives an RBI triple into the gap

Up next
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez makes his fourth start of the spring when the White Sox host the Cubs on 3:05 p.m. CT Friday at Camelback Ranch (watch live on MLB Network and MLB.TV). Right-hander Yu Darvish is scheduled to go for the Cubs.

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Chicago White Sox, Lucas Giolito