Lucas Giolito solid, but White Sox can’t complete sweep of Twins

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 28: Starting pitcher Lucas Giolito #27 of the Chicago White Sox delivers the ball against the Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 28, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – At this point, the White Sox are thinking beyond the final score when it comes to the big picture.

Yes, it hurt for the team to lose to the Twins in 13 innings. It was a chance for them to earn their first series sweep of the season along with their longest winning streak of 2018. In the end, a few missed changes and a few too many walks in the final frame that kept both from happening.

But there is at least one thing that the White Sox can think positively about when it comes to their lengthy loss to Minnesota on Tuesday: Lucas Giolito.

It’s no secret the pitcher has struggled mightily in his first full season with the White Sox. His ERA has been north of seven since April 21st, and he has as many walks (51) as he does striekouts (51) through 16 starts. A 5-7 record is a bit generous for the pitcher whose enduring a lionshare of growing pains this season.

Thursday looked like a continuation of that when he walked the bases loaded in the first inning. But he managed to wiggle his way out of that jam without another base-on-balls or a hit, and from there he was on. He’d only allow one more walk the rest of the game and struck out three batters, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning before the Twins finally reached base.

He gave up a home run to Logan Morrison in the seventh, but that was it for the pitcher who allowed his fewest runs of the season in the 6 1/3 inning effort. The White Sox offense couldn’t pick him up until the ninth inning, when Fernando Rodney’s inabilty to locate during an at-bat to Daniel Palka walked in the game-tying run.

The White Sox couldn’t get anymore home even with the bases loaded in that inning as Rodney got Yoan Moncada looking. Four innings later, it was Hector Santiago’s bases loaded walk to Max Kepler that allowed Minnesota to score the winning run and avoid the sweep.

It was a day that was lost, but for one struggling pitcher it was a minor win. For this year, that might be enough for a team that still has an eye towards the future.