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Not that tanking is really the talk of the day anymore, but this had everything you wanted from a late-August loss.
Lucas Giolito pitched brilliantly, and the bullpen validated the timing of my post about it.
(OK, so maybe this is more of what I wanted from a late-August loss.)
Rick Renteria avoided using the right-handed relievers who weren’t Juan Minaya and Dylan Covey. Jeanmar Gomez looked bad, Thyago Vieira looked worse, and the Red Sox scored the last nine runs of this game as a result.
Only Ryan Burr came out unscathed, and perhaps it would’ve been a better call for the first man after Giolito, who pitched brilliantly.
Giolito departed with a 4-0 lead after giving up a one-out walk on his 113th pitch of the game. Said lead didn’t last the inning. Gomez gave up two singles, a sac fly, and then grooved a 1-1 fastball that Mookie Betts deposited into left field for a game-tying homer.
Burr survived a warning-track flyout by J.D. Martinez to throw a scoreless inning, but Vieira … did not. He didn’t even get through the ninth, giving up five runs on four hits and two walks over 40 pitches. One of those hits was Martinez’s 39th homer of the year, and the Red Sox wouldn’t even need their closer.
White Sox fans will have to settle for a satisfying first two-thirds of the game. Giolito was fantastic. He erased a leadoff walk to Betts by picking him off, and he was off to a strong night. He didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning, which was his only stressful frame.
Xander Bogaerts reached leading off when Yolmer Sanchez couldn’t find the handle on a chopper and fired high. Giolito got a groundout and a strikeout to get back on track, but Ian Kinsler won an eight-pitch battle for a single and Sandy Leon put his hand in the path of a fastball over the plate to load the bases. Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a hot smash, but Matt Davidson got his body in front of it and collected it for the 3-unassisted putout.
Giolito ended up allowing just the one run that scored on Gomez’s watch. He allowed a pair of singles and a pair of walks while striking out eight. He got 14 swinging strikes, including eight on changeups, but he also froze Andrew Benintendi for backwards K’s on two-seamers that found the inside corner.
It looked like he received enough support early, as the White Sox struck against Rick Porcello before he could settle in. Avisail Garcia hit a mammoth blast out to right center for a two-run shot, and it didn’t kill the rally. Daniel Palka blooped a single, Yoan Moncada shot a base hit through the right side, and Matt Davidson’s bouncer up the middle sneaked past Bogaerts for an RBI single and a 3-0 lead.
In the second, Sanchez singled and Nicky Delmonico doubled to put two runners in scoring position with one out. Garcia lifted a sac fly to center for one, with Sanchez scoring before Delmonico was called out trying to tag up to third. The ball beat Delmonico, but the tag missed him, and a review called him safe, but it wasn’t a risk worth taking.
The White Sox didn’t score again, and didn’t have much in the way of quality chances. Their best shot was probably in the bottom of the seventh, when Delmonico missed a two-run homer to right by a matter of feet.
*Kevan Smith had a night to forget, going 0-for-4 with five stranded and two double plays.
*Sanchez slid in safely for his 12th stolen base, and got a glove to the groin for his troubles.
*Perhaps the White Sox shouldn’t lead AL East teams 4-0 anymore.
Record: 53-81 | Box score