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Through four innings, the White Sox led 5-0 with Lucas Giolito overcoming early turbulence with a reasonable pitch count.
It ended with the crowd calling for Tony La Russa’s firing as his fourth reliever of the game got rocked for four runs in the 10th inning of an 11-9 loss.
While La Russa received the brunt of fan frustration, Giolito was chiefly to blame at an individual game level, as he responded to a three-run fourth by giving up four runs over the course of the first five batters he faced in the fifth.
He’s mostly labored since coming back from the COVID-19 list, especially in the middle innings. He entered the game giving up a .357/.378/.691 line against hitters the third time through, and that’s set to rise at the end of this one.
But while the problems started with him, it turned out to be a team effort.
The offense scored seven runs in regulation, sure, but all of them were off starter Martin Perez. Over the final four innings, they managed just a hit and a walk while striking out 11 times. Yasmani Grandal was the only starter to avoid a K, but that’s because he left after a 2-for-2 performance with a hamstring injury suffered while “running” down the first base line.
The defense committed a pair of errors, and while Kyle Crick was able to make up for hie errant pickoff throw at first by picking off Brad Miller at second, Andrew Vaughn’s errant throw back into the infield on Kole Calhoun’s double allowed Calhoun to take third with one out, and he came home on a sac fly to score the tying run.
As for La Russa, he used five relievers, but none of them were his high-leverage guys. Crick, Sousa and Jimmy Lambert handled the four innings before extras, with Lambert delivering a miracle with 2⅔ high-leverage innings that closed out the seventh, eighth and ninth.
Around him was disaster. Crick gave back a run in the sixth, and Sousa once again faltered against a lefty, giving up the RBI double to Calhoun in the seventh. In the 10th, Matt Foster immediately yielded an RBI double, folowed by a single, walk and single. A Reese McGuire passed ball also allowed a run, but it probably would’ve scored anyway, because José Ruiz also gave up an run-scoring hit to his first batter. He lucked out because Corey Seager followed by flying into a 7-3 double play.
The White Sox finally got back on the board in the bottom of the 10th with an assistance from the Manfred Man. Danny Mendick singled home a run, took second on defensive indifference, third on an AJ Pollock infield single and scored on a Vaughn sac fly that was the White Sox’s best attempt at tying the game. Luis Robert popped out and José Abreu flied out, and the remainder of the 30,000 fans who showed up on Hawaiian Shirt Day went home thoroughly displeased.
It could’ve been better, because the White Sox offense once again proved to be a bear for a left-handed starter. Martin Perez entered this one with a league-leading 1.56 ERA, but the White Sox tagged him for seven runs (six earned) on 12 hits and two walks over five innings.
Jake Burger tagged him for only his second homer allowed this year, but the other five runs scored via steady pressure, as well as a couple of misplays. The left side of the Rangers infield left afforded the Sox two extra outs — Ezequiel Duran trying to turn a 5-3 double play when 5-4-3 was the simple way to go, Corey Seager whiffing on a grounder because he saw a play at the plate — and the Sox capitalized with an array of well-placed hits.
Alas, the Sox have scored, seven, eight and nine runs this week, and they have a 1-2 record, a +1 run differential and an apparently gassed back end of the bullpen to show for it.