After blowing a late lead in Houston on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon brought more of the bullpen struggles in a 6-4 loss to the Astros.
Lucas Giolito got the start in today’s game, and despite a rocky first inning, completed five innings and gave up just two earned runs (three runs total) over the course of his outing. He punched out six in his season debut which is a nice sign early in the season, and the unearned run he allowed came on a Yoan Moncada throwing error on a routine ground ball to third base. Jimmy Lambert came in relief of Gioltio, throwing two-thirds of an inning and not allowing a run. Joe Kelly came in to finish off Lambert’s sixth inning before starting his work again in the seventh, but after quickly getting the first two outs of the inning, would be pulled after giving up back-to-back two-out hits. Jose Ruiz was called on to put out the fire in what became the first controversial bullpen decision of Pedro Grifol’s career. It would backfire, as a walk and base hit by Kyle Tucker put the Astros ahead for good in this game.
The White Sox left ten men on base in this matchup. Yoan Moncada got the scoring started with a home run to left field, and Seby Zavala would soon follow with one of his own. However, despite multiple rallies and a run scored in the ninth inning, the White Sox were unable to re-capture the lead that they had lost.
With the loss, the Sox fall to 1-2 in the young season.
W: Ryne Stanek (1-0) | L: Joe Kelly (0-1) | S: Hector Neris (1)
Lucas Giolito: 5 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Giolito threw the ball well today in his first outing of the year. Three of his six strikeouts came against former teammate Jose Abreu. Soft contact today killed Lucas, which allowed his pitch count to rise all the way to 97 pitches at the end of his five innings. However, he did battle today while giving the Sox a chance to win.
Seby Zavala: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Coming off of a powerful Spring Training, Zavala blasted a ball for his first home run of the season.
Yoan Moncada: 1-for-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Moncada has hit the ball hard this entire series, and he drilled a homer the opposite way today.
Eloy Jimenez: 1-for-3, 1 H, 2 BB
Jimenez got an RBI knock late in the ninth, but the two walks for Jimenez in this one is a great sign early in the season.
Tim Anderson: 2-for-5, SB
Tim Anderson added to his hit streak today and tallied another stolen base in this one.
Other Game Highlights
The Sox will face the Astros one final time in this four-game series. Mike Clevenger will take the mound in his White Sox debut, and he will face Luis Garcia. The first pitch is at 1:10 PM CT and it will be on NBC Sports Chicago.
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