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Giolito dominant early, gets stung by homers

White Sox right-hander keeps Cards off board until 6th; scoring chances elusive
MLB.com @scottmerkin

ST. LOUIS -- With one out in the seventh inning and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina on first Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium, White Sox manager Rick Renteria heard what he needed during a mound visit with Lucas Giolito before the right-hander faced Dexter Fowler.

"I need that fire, that confidence that he had," said Renteria of Giolito wanting to stay in the game to face Fowler.

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ST. LOUIS -- With one out in the seventh inning and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina on first Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium, White Sox manager Rick Renteria heard what he needed during a mound visit with Lucas Giolito before the right-hander faced Dexter Fowler.

"I need that fire, that confidence that he had," said Renteria of Giolito wanting to stay in the game to face Fowler.

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On this occasion resulting in a 3-2 Cardinals victory, Giolito's confidence did not translate into positive results. Fowler connected on a 3-1 pitch for his fourth home run of the season and the 100th of his career in pushing the White Sox to a fourth straight loss and to a season-worst 8-20 ledger overall.

Video: CWS@STL: Fowler crushes 2-run shot to center

"I wanted to finish that inning," Giolito said. "I knew that I had stuff to get Fowler out and the stuff to get all of those guys out today. I was feeling really good. Just have to kind of do a better job of staying within myself and continuing to have conviction behind every single pitch and execute."

Giolito allowed three runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings, striking out a season-high seven and walking two. He pitched scoreless baseball into the sixth, having struck out four of the previous eight hitters faced, before opposing pitcher Carlos Martinez connected for a first-pitch, one-out home run to left-center.

Video: CWS@STL: Giolito, Renteria discuss loss to Cardinals

Moncada day to day with tight left hamstring

Yes, the same Carlos Martinez who dominated the White Sox on the mound for 7 1/3 innings. Martinez's first career home run came off of a 91.6-mph four-seam fastball that certainly didn't seem to be a terrible pitch according to Statcast™ but was not where Giolito wanted. He walked Tommy Pham and Matt Carpenter following the pitcher's blast but regained his composure to get on to the seventh.

Video: CWS@STL: Sanchez puts Sox on board with RBI knock

"That's a big learning experience right there," Giolito said. "You give up a home run, whether it's a pitcher or a position player, you've got to be able to just forget about it immediately, keep going, keep staying on track. I didn't do that.

"Didn't execute one pitch -- so what? That's generally the motto. After that pitch I got out of the inning and to the next one, and started to get away from my command that I had all game."

The White Sox put the first two runners on base against Martinez via a Yoan Moncada walk and Yolmer Sanchez single but didn't score in the first. Jose Abreu opened the fourth with a double but didn't score, and Daniel Palka's double-play grounder ended a two-on, one-out situation in the seventh. They finally pushed across two in the eighth on Sanchez's single, marking his 300th career hit, and Abreu's sacrifice fly. But it wasn't enough to prevent the White Sox from finishing with a 3-4 road trip and dropping to 3-9 in one-run games.

Video: CWS@STL: Abreu plates Thompson on sacrifice fly

"For the most part, we look at it as we are getting better," said White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson of the team's one-run record. "We have to be able to close out those close ballgames.

"But pitching is doing great. We are putting together some good ABs. Eventually we are going to bust through."

Video: CWS@STL: Sox double off Pham on mental error

SOUND SMART
Giolito became the first White Sox pitcher to allow a home run to a pitcher since Jose Quintana surrendered a home run to the Cubs' Jake Arrieta at Wrigley Field on July 12, 2015.

Video: CWS@STL: C. Martinez smacks his first career home run

HE SAID IT
"Losing one-run games is tough. You've got to find a way to win those. Most of that is on me. All I have to do is execute a couple more pitches there and be out of the inning and give up one run, give the team a much better chance to win right there. But definitely a huge learning experience for me today." -- Giolito, who recorded 15 swinging strikes and 13 called strikes, per Statcast™, among his 87 pitches

UP NEXT
Reynaldo Lopez opens a six-game homestand for the White Sox Thursday night against the Twins with a 7:10 p.m. CT first pitch. Lopez has yet to pick up a victory over five starts this season, but his 1.78 ERA puts him as one of five starters in the American League below 2.00. Jake Odorizzi starts for the Twins.

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.

Chicago White Sox, Jose Abreu, Lucas Giolito, Yolmer Sanchez