MINNEAPOLIS -- White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito found his offspeed pitch over the final three innings he worked in a 4-0 loss to the Twins at Target Field on Thursday night. And that step forward for the right-hander might be more important than the game's final outcome."I was finally able
MINNEAPOLIS -- White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito found his offspeed pitch over the final three innings he worked in a 4-0 loss to the Twins at Target Field on Thursday night. And that step forward for the right-hander might be more important than the game's final outcome.
"I was finally able to make a good adjustment after those first few innings," Giolito said. "Kind of found my curveball a little bit. That was useful in those later innings, throwing the slider for a strike."
"Once he started settling down in the third, his stuff looked a little crisper," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "I thought his command improved."
For a third straight start this season, Giolito didn't appear to be working with his best stuff or complete repertoire at the outset. He pitched out of a jam in the first with runners on second and third and only one out, and he did not have a perfect inning through the first four.
But the righty looked stronger over the fifth and sixth, striking out Joe Mauer with a 1-2 curveball in the fifth and getting Eduardo Escobar on the same pitch in the sixth, with Eddie Rosario on third and one out.
Giolito allowed four runs (three earned) over a season-high 6 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking five. He threw 18 sliders and five curves, per Statcast™, getting three swinging strikes and four called strikes on the slider.
"There's a few positives to take out of today," said Giolito, who threw 59 of his 103 pitches for strikes. "Another day where I was just grinding as much as I could to get through it.
"Put up zeros for the club so the hitters could get back out there. The curveball definitely felt a lot better later in the game. I probably could have gone to it more, looking back on it."
The White Sox offense did nothing against Twins starter Jose Berrios, mustering three hits over seven innings against the righty. Berrios fanned 11, matching a career high last done against the White Sox on Aug. 30, 2017.
Mauer drove in three runs, picking up his 2,000th career hit with a two-run single to center off of left-handed reliever Aaron Bummer in the seventh. Those two runs were charged to Giolito, who left after walking nine hitter Jason Castro and allowing James Dozier's double.
Giolito wanted to keep going. But in this year of development for the White Sox, he left with a positive feeling overall for the night, knowing he can do more.
"I have to do a better job of commanding the fastball," said Giolito, adding he was pulling off and flying open on pitches. "That's my No. 1 pitch. When I throw it right, it gets guys out. I have to do a better job staying through it.
"I'm happy with my ability to compete and grind when I don't have a lot of stuff working in my favor. Mechanics are off. Falling behind a ton of batters. I'm looking forward to my next start. I'm constantly looking to the future. That's the biggest thing, is looking to get that opportunity to go out there and put it all together."
The White Sox had one at-bat all game with a runner in scoring position, in the ninth, and were hitless in that situation. They are 3-for-46 with RISP over the last six games, stranding 49.
HE SAID IT
"I didn't know he was at 1,999. I remember when I had that, his [third] at-bat when I struck him out, I remember the crowd was up and cheering. I was like, 'Oh, man. The crowd is really into it right now. They want to get that run across.'" -- Giolito, on facing Mauer during his milestone night
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Byron Buxton's speed directly produced the Twins' first run in the third and part of that work came on his 27th straight stolen base on a call overturned by video review challenge. Buxton opened with a single and originally was ruled out on Omar Narvaez's throw to Tim Anderson. But the replay showed Buxton beat the tag. He later scored on Dozier's grounder to Anderson, which the shortstop threw away in trying to get Buxton at home.
Catcher Welington Castillo is day to day with right knee soreness but could be back to catch Reynaldo Lopez for Friday's 7:10 p.m. CT first pitch against the Twins at Target Field. Lopez has never faced the Twins but allowed two hits over seven innings in his last start against the Rays.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.