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After about the first 10 minutes of this game, the White Sox’s hopes of climbing over .500 for the first time since May would have to wait.
The Guardians came up hacking against Lucas Giolito, and although the contact was mostly soft, they were still rewarded handsomely. They grabbed a 4-0 lead over the course of 12 pitches, which was all they needed to take the crowd of 31,379 out of it immediately. The White Sox are now 19-26 at home, by the way.
Had Giolito come into this game with a 2.69 ERA or a 3.69 ERA, it could’ve easily been shrugged off as bad luck. But he brought a 4.69 ERA into this one, and now it’s up to 5.12 after giving up six runs on nine hits over three innings.
Six of the nine hits he allowed had exit velocities below 70 mph, but he hung a first-pitch changeup to Andres Gimenez, and even though Gimenez didn’t get all of it (98.4 mph), it still sailed over the right field wall by a comfortable margin.
Giolito carried a 1.77 ERA over 12 starts against the Guardians into this game, but it’s safe to say he didn’t get the expected results. Cal Quantrill usually gives the White Sox a tough time (2.76 ERA in nine games), and tonight was no exception.
Outside of a two-run punch in the third inning, Quantrill kept the Sox in check. He didn’t have the easiest of nights, throwing 97 pitches over five innings, but he and the Guardians bullpen held the Sox to a 1-for-10 performance in runners in scoring position.
That “1” was a José Abreu double inside third base that scored Tim Anderson (who singled) and moved Yoán Moncada (who walked) to third. Yasmani Grandal was able to come up with a productive out by hitting an RBI grounder to short, and while Eloy Jiménez was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners, AJ Pollock left them there by striking out.
They remained within a slam’s length until the sixth, when Tony La Russa tried to beat Josh Naylor by bringing in Tanner Banks with two on and two outs. Naylor thwarted it with a slicing liner that got past Adam Engel, which scored both runners and made the final score what it is today.
*Engel committed an error when he lost the handle on Amed Rosario’s second-inning RBI single, allowing Rosario to take second on the play. Anderson also committed an error when his tough throw from shallow center skipped past Abreu and into the Guardians dugout
*Alex Call recorded his first hit, a single off longtime Winston-Salem/Birmingham teammate Banks.
*Grandal went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and yielded a stolen base, although he did catch the entire game.
*Besides Jiménez, Abreu was also hit by an up-and-in pitch off his lead shoulder, and Engel was knocked off the plate, so perhaps that informs some pitch selections during the doubleheader.