Lucas Giolito has been looking to get on a roll for nearly three years.
Giolito (5-5, 5.05 ERA) will continue his search for consistency when he takes the mound for the Chicago White Sox in the series finale at the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday night.
Giolito, a hard-throwing right-hander, is 2-4 with a 7.11 ERA in his past eight starts, but he began leveling off not long after making his lone All-Star appearance in 2019.
He started that season with an 11-2 record before limping to a 3-7 mark in the second half.
Even a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 25, 2020, couldn’t propel Giolito in an upward direction, as he’s just 18-15 in 51 starts since then.
He appeared in prime position to win consecutive starts for the second time this season in his most recent outing but again showed a sudden change of direction.
Giolito took a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning against the visiting Detroit Tigers on Friday but was stung for a tying two-run homer by Jeimer Candelario.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa let Giolito come out for the seventh. He retired the first two batters but then gave up a single and a walk.
La Russa left Giolito in to face Candelario again, and the decision backfired, as Candelario delivered an RBI single to put Detroit ahead 3-2.
“I’ve got to give us a better chance there,” Giolito said. “I was doing well, and then I put us right in a hole that our offense had to try to climb out of.”
Giolito was replaced after the go-ahead single, and the Tigers tacked on three more runs in the inning before winning 7-5.
“He’s the guy that I thought earned that right to get that out, and I was confident he would,” La Russa said of his decision to let Giolito pitch to Candelario in the seventh.
Giolito has pitched well against the Guardians in his career, going 4-3 in 11 starts, with a 1.93 ERA.
He beat Cleveland on May 10, allowing one run and six hits in seven innings of a 4-1 victory.
Cleveland won the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the White Sox behind a complete game from Shane Bieber, then was blanked in the second game 7-0 by starter Dylan Cease and three relievers.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona wasn’t disappointed with his team’s offensive effort in the nightcap.
“For a lineup that didn’t score, I actually thought our guys battled,” Francona said. “That was as filthy of stuff (from Cease) as we’ve seen in a while.”
Francona is planning to send right-hander Aaron Civale to the mound for the series finale.
Civale (2-5, 6.28) is looking for his first win since returning from the injured list on June 21 because of a left glute injury. He’s 0-2 with a 4.09 ERA in four starts since his return.
Civale deserved a better result in his most recent outing, however.
He allowed one run in seven innings at the Kansas City Royals on Friday and left with a 3-1 lead. The Royals, however, hit a two-run tying home run in the eighth before getting a walk-off run in the ninth for a 4-3 win.
Civale is 4-3 in seven career starts against the White Sox, with a 5.14 ERA.
–Field Level Media