MINNEAPOLIS -- The positive steps taken by Lucas Giolito during the month of August took a quick and harsh detour during a rough September, culminating with Minnesota's 12-4 victory in Game 2 of a doubleheader Friday night at Target Field. The Twins completed the sweep following a 2-1 victory in
MINNEAPOLIS -- The positive steps taken by Lucas Giolito during the month of August took a quick and harsh detour during a rough September, culminating with Minnesota's 12-4 victory in Game 2 of a doubleheader Friday night at Target Field. The Twins completed the sweep following a 2-1 victory in the day game.
Giolito lasted a mere 1 1/3 innings, yielding seven runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out two, throwing 25 of his 56 pitches for strikes, and leaving the right-hander searching for the words to describe the night after the White Sox third straight loss.
"Felt pretty good warming up but got into the game, first inning ... not much to say," Giolito said. "Didn't have good feel. Second inning, just got out of control. It just sucks because it's probably my last outing of the year. It's not the way I wanted to go out but, I mean, obviously I have some things to work on for next year."
"He has grown a lot and continues to improve. We've talked about how it takes him a little bit to find his feel and today he just wasn't able to come out of that situation here," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's a smart kid, he'll continue to learn, continue to find a way to get through those moments and hopefully continue to perform the way he has when he's done well for us."
Giolito's last start of the 2018 season left him with a 9.27 ERA for September, yielding 23 earned runs over 22 2/3 innings. His 6.13 ERA for the season becomes the highest ERA among qualifiers and his 90 walks over 173 1/3 innings rank as the most in the American League.
All four of his walks came consecutively to open a four-run second, with Robbie Grossman's two-run single knocking Giolito from the game. Hector Santiago threw 97 pitches in relief, striking out seven in 4 2/3 innings.
Home runs from Jose Rondon and Kevan Smith produced the offensive output against Minnesota starter Chase De Jong, with the White Sox adding two in the eighth on Yolmer Sanchez's 10th triple and Daniel Palka's 67th RBI on a single to left. The White Sox have lost six of their last seven and need one victory in the final two games to avoid 100 losses.
Statistics for Giolito's season will be skewed by a tough first two months placing his ERA at 7.53 on May 24. His ERA checked in at 5.48 over his final 21 starts, but it was still a season full of learning experiences for the young hurler punctuated by an extra impetus for improvement following Friday night.
"I have to do a better job. Tonight it just imploded," Giolito said. "Yeah, it's extra motivation. I mean, I'm already as motivated as I can get. I want nothing more than to just be myself and let my stuff play at this level. Because I know it does play."
HE SAID IT
"We've had a lot of games for him where he's probably had a difficult time early and we've continued to leave him out here. Today was not going to be that day. You could see he was having a tough time kind of finding that. We were just trying to get Hector to see if he could stop the bleeding a little bit and keep us there and see if we could get some offense going." -- Renteria, on Giolito's night
Left-hander Carlos Rodon (6-7, 3.61) is scheduled to make his 20th start of the season, 11th on the road and second against Minnesota in Saturday night's contest at Target Field, with a first pitch of 6:10 p.m. CT. Rodon is 0-4 with a 6.84 ERA over five starts in September after going 5-0 with a 1.84 ERA over his previous nine outings. He lost his last start on Sept. 23 vs. the Cubs, allowing six runs on a season-high nine hits in a season-low 2 1/3 innings.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.