It seems like every Lucas Giolito start begins poorly, and then he settles down after the first couple of innings. Tonight he settled down in a big way, and the White Sox offense did enough behind him to secure a victory. Between the third and seventh innings, Giolito retired 12 straight batters, and his teammates earned him a win by scoring two runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
The South Siders jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a Jose Abreu sacrifice fly but would have to keep pace with the Tigers over the next few innings. With two outs in the second, Giolito yielded a three-run double to Riley Greene on a ball that probably should’ve been caught by Eloy Jimenez. But then down 3-1, Chicago manufactured two runs courtesy of Leury Garcia and A.J. Pollock, then once again responded down 4-3 with a Jimenez single. Andrew Vaughn plated the winning run for the second straight night, as Jose Abreu’s aggressive base-running saw him cross the plate on Vaughn’s single.
After Reynaldo Lopez’s smooth showing and A.J. Pollock’s solo shot to the left field bullpen, Liam Hendriks had a two-run cushion to work with in the ninth. He allowed two baserunners but closed the game on two swinging strikeouts, representing his sixteenth straight successful save opportunity. Amazingly, the Sox now have an opportunity to register a series sweep for just the first time since July 3 against the San Francisco Giants, despite losing only two series in that span.
W: Lucas Giolito (9-6) | L: Joe Jimenez (3-2) | S: Liam Hendriks (25)
White Sox Scoring Recap:
Bottom 1st: Jose Abreu hits a sacrifice fly to left field. A.J. Pollock scores. 1-0 White Sox.
Bottom 2nd: Leury Garcia singles to center field. Gavin Sheets scores. 3-2 Tigers.
Bottom 4th: A.J. Pollock hits a sacrifice fly to right field. Leury Garcia scores. 3-3.
Bottom 7th: Andrew Vaughn singles to center field. Jose Abreu scores. 5-4 White Sox.
Bottom 8th: A.J. Pollock hits a home run to left field. 6-4 White Sox.
Lucas Giolito: 7 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 7 K
After a tumultuous start to the contest, Giolito settled down to deliver a decent outing overall. It hasn’t been pretty for him in many games for him recently, but he’s been a much better pitcher since his ultra-rough stretch in late May and June. Considering that three of his earned runs tonight likely wouldn’t have scored if the Sox employed a decent glove in left field, tonight was a solid performance by Gio.
Andrew Vaughn: 3-for-4, 3 1B, 1 RBI
Many of Chicago’s core position players have performed so-so at times this year. Vaughn is certainly not one of them, as he looks more and more every day like the next great White Sox first basemen. Over the past calendar month, the 24-year-old is batting .326/.376/.558, good for a 167 wRC+.
A.J. Pollock: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R
Pollock opened the scoring in the first inning by crossing home plate on a sacrifice fly, and ended the scoring with a huge insurance home run in the eighth. The veteran outfielder has excelled in the leadoff spot of late, a trend that could prove huge with Tim Anderson’s injury absence.
Jose Abreu: 2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 R
While “August Abreu” hasn’t been as productive as in prior years, Pito came through when needed tonight. With one out in the seventh inning, Abreu legged out a ground ball deep in the hole between shortstop and third base. Then, he tagged up and nabbed second base on Yasmani Grandal’s deep flyout to center field, before scoring the winning run on Vaughn’s single. Just another night at the ballpark where Jose Abreu burns teams with his blazing speed.
Other Game Highlights
The Next Matchup
The series wraps up tomorrow with a start for struggling veteran Lance Lynn, who’s going up against Detroit lefty Tyler Alexander.
Like every home Sunday matchup, the game will square off at 1:10 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago.
Follow us @SoxOn35th for more updates throughout the season!
Featured Image: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports