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Giolito's velocity dips in his first loss vs. KC

@scottmerkin
July 15, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- Lucas Giolito’s first start after his first All-Star appearance ended with his first career loss to the Royals as the White Sox fell 5-2 at Kauffman Stadium on Monday night. • Box score Giolito entered his initial start of the season’s second half with a 6-0 mark,

KANSAS CITY -- Lucas Giolito’s first start after his first All-Star appearance ended with his first career loss to the Royals as the White Sox fell 5-2 at Kauffman Stadium on Monday night.

Box score

Giolito entered his initial start of the season’s second half with a 6-0 mark, 2.13 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, .164 opponents’ average and 54 strikeouts in 10 career starts (eight quality) vs. Kansas City. He had allowed two earned runs or less seven times, and one or less five times.

But the Royals scored two in the fourth off the right-hander and added a two-out run in the sixth on Nicky Lopez’s single to left.

Giolito dipped to 1-3 with a 6.48 ERA over his last five starts. He has allowed 18 earned runs in 25 innings during that stretch, following an eight-start winning streak from May 7 to June 14.

According to Statcast, Giolito averaged 93.3 mph on his fastball and topped out at 94.9 mph representing a bit of a drop. But it’s all part of managing a long season.

“It's going to happen,” Giolito said. “Coming off the All-Star Game, just going out and trying to blow it out for one inning and then off a long time between starts, there's going to be games where I don't have my best velocity. And that's when I really have to do a better job of executing.

“My fastball command kind of got worse as the night went on. That's just part of it. Just need to get back in the gym, get my legs right, and we'll see it creep back up.”

Lopez almost knocked Giolito out of the game in the third when he lined a pitch off of his left shoulder for a double. Luckily, the only damage done was the destruction of a chain Giolito received as a gift from his wife around the All-Star Game.

“It just broke in half, but we'll send it out to the jeweler. I'm sure he'll be able to fix it,” said Giolito, who allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings, with five strikeouts and one walk. “It's probably going to be a nice bruise tomorrow, but it hit me in a good spot. It was a few inches away from being a bad spot, but it happens. I haven't been hit by a line drive in a long time.”

James McCann’s 10th home run, coming with one out in the sixth, accounted for the White Sox lone run off of Royals starter Jakob Junis, who had 10 strikeouts over seven innings. The White Sox had a prime chance for a big inning in the eighth, but Jake Diekman struck out Yolmer Sanchez to strand the bases loaded.

In the ninth, with runners on first and second and closer Ian Kennedy laboring a bit, Jose Abreu hit into a game-ending double play. The White Sox finished 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and are 4-for-32 in that area during a four-game losing streak to start the second half.

Manager Rick Renteria spoke to his team after the game and basically told them to forget these past four setbacks where the performance has not been great. They will try to regroup Tuesday and work their way back toward the level of play they maintained during a surprising 42-44 first half bringing along loftier second half expectations.

“What we talked about was after coming off and performing and competing and keeping yourselves above water, people expect that,” Renteria said. “So, we talked about expectations, and expectations are a good thing. But it doesn't mean you have to try to force yourself to do more things.

“I can see they're dragging a little right now. It's visible. I told them to keep their heads up. We're going to continue to push and play, embrace the expectations that we have of ourselves because the reality is we're trying to prepare ourselves to be a winning organization.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.