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Davidson, bats awaken in Giolito's strong start

August 20, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- There is plenty of buzz surrounding the White Sox right now, with top pitching prospect Michael Kopech set to make his Major League debut on Tuesday. But on Monday, Chicago's offense stole the show and ambushed one of the Twins' own top prospects in his first big league

MINNEAPOLIS -- There is plenty of buzz surrounding the White Sox right now, with top pitching prospect Michael Kopech set to make his Major League debut on Tuesday. But on Monday, Chicago's offense stole the show and ambushed one of the Twins' own top prospects in his first big league outing.
The White Sox hung four runs on Minnesota rookie Stephen Gonsalves en route to an 8-5 win at Target Field. The game, a weather makeup of an April 15 game that was wiped out by snow, was delayed by rain for 33 minutes prior to first pitch.
Gonsalves had generated quite a bit of buzz of late; the 24-year-old lefty is listed by MLB Pipeline as the Twins' No. 5 prospect. But his long-awaited big league debut spanned just 55 pitches as Chicago batted around and plated four runs in the second inning.
"Tonight was a total, total team win," White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing, who served as manager on Monday after manager Rick Renteria went to the hospital with light-headedness, said. "One through nine grinded it out. Outstanding at-bats."

Nicky Delmonico led off the second with a triple to right field, and Matt Davidson cracked a single to open the scoring for Chicago. Gonsalves then walked Yolmer Sanchez, hit Kevan Smith with a pitch and yielded an RBI single to Tim Anderson.
After the second mound visit of the inning, Gonsalves struck Leury Garcia out swinging. Garcia exited the game in the fourth inning with a left hamstring strain.
Jose Abreu got the White Sox back on track with a two-run double to make it 4-0. Daniel Palka followed by drawing a walk and that spelled the end of Gonsalves' night.

While the White Sox padded an early lead against Gonsalves, Chicago starter Lucas Giolito turned in a solid performance for the second outing in a row. Giolito struck out six Minnesota batters over six innings while walking two and allowing three runs on five hits.
"I felt really good in the first inning, then we had that very long second inning," Giolito said. "Came out a little out of sync there. Ended up giving up a run. But for the most part, I thought [Smith] and I were working really well together. Sinker was moving a lot tonight, so I favored that over the four-seamer."

Giolito threw a season-high 111 pitches. The last one of those might have been the most important of the night; Max Kepler banged a one-out triple off the right-field wall to try to get the Twins going in the sixth. Giolito responded by striking out Mitch Garver with a slider, and then, on a full count, punching out Jake Cave with a changeup.
"That was a big pitch," McEwing said. "That was probably his last hitter. You got a guy on third, 3-2 count, throwing a changeup. He showed the fight that he had from pitch one of the day to the last out."

McEwing saw the outing as another positive step in the right direction for Giolito as he navigates through his first full season.
"It all comes with experience," Giolito said. "I'm learning a ton. Every single outing I learn something valuable. Just grinding along and making the best of it."

The White Sox immediately took advantage of Giolito's shutdown inning and added to their lead an inning later. Davidson launched a two-run homer to dead-center, just over the glove of a leaping Kepler, to push Chicago's lead to 7-3.
Juan Minaya came on to relieve Giolito and was lights-out for the seventh and eighth inning. Minaya racked up a season-high five strikeouts while retiring the six batters he faced.

HE SAID IT
"I enjoy pitching on the road. Just kind of the lead up into it. You know, hanging out in a nice hotel, just relaxing, going to the field. A lot of it is, I guess, coincidence, the numbers being a lot better on the road. But at the same time, I feel good on the road. I just like the way my routine goes." -- Giolito on his home-road splits -- a 4.54 ERA in road starts this season and an 8.18 ERA in home starts
UP NEXT
The White Sox won't have to wait long to face the Twins again -- they will head back to Chicago to begin a two-game home series with Minnesota on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT at Guaranteed Rate Field. Michael Kopech, Chicago's No. 2 prospect and the No. 13 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, will make his Major League debut. He will square off with Minnesota All-Star right-hander Jose Berrios (11-8, 3.75 ERA).

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.