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Fired-up Giolito handcuffs rival Cubs, whiffs 8

White Sox righty: 'It's the strongest I've felt in the spring so far'
Special to MLB.com

MESA, Ariz. -- White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito was amped up more than usual for his Spring Training start Saturday.

It was against the crosstown-rival Cubs at Sloan Park before a rambunctious standing room-only crowd of 15,508.

View Full Game Coverage

MESA, Ariz. -- White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito was amped up more than usual for his Spring Training start Saturday.

It was against the crosstown-rival Cubs at Sloan Park before a rambunctious standing room-only crowd of 15,508.

View Full Game Coverage

Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule

"They sell out here," Giolito said. "All the people on the lawn and in the outfield, it's kind of a louder atmosphere than most Spring Training games, so it gets you going a little bit. It's definitely a fun atmosphere to pitch in, for sure, early in the season."

Giolito brought his "A" game in the 4-4 draw with the Cubs. In four-plus innings, he struck out eight, including the first four batters he faced. He gave up a Victor Caratini home run to lead off the third and walked two before being removed after 70-plus pitches.

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"It's the strongest I've felt in the spring so far," Giolito said.

Catcher Welington Castillo caught Giolito for the first time in a game.

"I loved how calm he is back there," Giolito said. "He doesn't move around a lot, great pitch calling. We were in synch. All my pitches felt good for the most part."

The righty said his curveball was shaper and he was throwing it for strikes.

Video: CWS@CHC: Giolito on his start, confidence in spring

"I was just trying to mix it up a lot," Giolito said. "I was throwing the slider early in the count pretty much for strikes and I was throwing that curveball a bit sharper, which is what I've been working on, especially with two strikes, so I was able to get a few guys on that. Overall my breaking stuff was working pretty good."

Giolito struck out Ben Zobrist on a changeup to end the first.

"That's a pitch I'll be using more this year, especially against lefties," he said.

Video: CWS@CHC: Cooper on Giolito's start, teaching pitchers

Giolito said he would like to take the same stuff he had against the Cubs into the regular season.

"For sure," Giolito said. "I was able to command the strike zone pretty well. I didn't fall behind too many guys. I was getting ahead of guys. That's important to a starting pitcher. I was getting a lot of ground balls, too. I like to see that. Overall, a good day for me."

Video: CWS@CHC: Renteria on teaching youth, Giolito's outing

Adolfo update
Outfielder Micker Adolfo still can't play in the field because a right elbow ligament strain, but he has been serving as the designated hitter. He went 1-for-3 against the Cubs.

Jones thriving in March
Right-hander Nate Jones retired all three batters he faced. He has allowed two hits, walked none and struck out five in four scoreless innings this month.

Up next
White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez will start Sunday (3:05 p.m. CT in an exclusive video webcast) against righty Taijuan Walker and the D-backs in Glendale. No. 1 Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez is slated to be in the starting lineup.

Alan Eskew is a contributor to MLB.com.

Chicago White Sox, Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jimenez