Robert Jr. nearing superstar status with red-hot stretch

July 5th, 2023

CHICAGO -- pitched well during the White Sox 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field, admittedly without his best stuff.

But the ultra-competitive right-hander didn’t feel like he did his job, exiting after six innings with a 2-0 deficit. He finished with a no-decision, after being in line for the victory, with a little help from his center fielder.

“We’ve got All-Star Luis Robert [Jr.] to get it back,” said Giolito after the White Sox fell to 37-50 and seven games behind the Twins in the American League Central.

Robert Jr. connected for a three-run blast in the sixth off Toronto starter and former White Sox righty Chris Bassitt, set up by singles from and . The homer came on an 0-1 sweeper, and Robert Jr.’s pose at the plate knowing it was gone was as impressive as the Statcast-projected 450-foot distance to left-center field.

That mark represents the longest White Sox home run this season.

“He’s got every tool,” Anderson said. “He just continues to keep putting his package together. He's going to continue to keep being great for us.”

Added White Sox manager Pedro Grifol: “We’ve been talking about this for a long long time: If he swings at strikes, balls are going to go a long way, And he’s swinging at strikes. He’s having some really good at-bats, taking really good pitches.”

A two-run home run in the eighth from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who enjoyed his blast off Joe Kelly as much as Robert Jr. enjoyed his homer off Bassitt, gave the Blue Jays the win. Meanwhile, Robert Jr. became the third White Sox player to hit 25-plus homers and 20-plus doubles before the All-Star break, joining José Abreu (2014) and Frank Thomas (1994).

“Watching his growth as a player has been incredible,” Giolito said. “When he first came here, we could all see he was a superstar in the making. Now it’s happening live.”