Just when Lucas Giolito was starting to come around, inconsistency reared its ugly head again.
The 6-6 right-hander, who entered the White Sox’ 7-3 loss to the Yankees with a 3.19 ERA in his previous five starts, was strafed for six runs in the second inning Wednesday night, a heap of damage too formidable to overcome against All-Star righty Luis Severino and New York’s stout bullpen.
Staked to a 2-0 lead, Giolito (7-9, 6.23 ERA) opened the second with his second walk, and it was downhill from there. Three consecutive singles, a 1-2 curveball that hit Brett Gardner on the toe and a grand slam by Giancarlo Stanton followed, and it was 6-2.
It was Stanton’s 27th homer, an opposite-field poke inside the right-field pole.
“I lost all my rhythm, lost all my tempo,” Giolito said. “Four-pitch walk, uncompetitive pitches to open the inning. Kind of just spiraled from there.”
Giolito fared better the next time through the order, retiring eight of nine in one stretch before Aaron Hicks hit an elevated curve over the right-field fence in the fifth inning for his 19th homer. Giolito’s stuff was good — he struck out seven — but he walked three, hit Gardner and needed 103 pitches (64 strikes) to get through five innings of six-hit ball.
“I feel good, and my stuff was good,’’ Giolito said. “But it definitely sucks a lot to have an outing like this when I feel like I’m starting to get over that hump and starting to pitch a lot better than I have been.’’
Tim Anderson hit his 15th homer, an opposite-field shot, against Severino in the fifth to make it 7-3. Nicky Delmonico led off the seventh with a double against Severino but was thrown out on a fundamentally unsound attempt to advance to third on a grounder to short with no outs.
The result completed a three-game sweep for the Yankees.
Abreu in select company
Jose Abreu’s tying home run in the 10th inning Tuesday made him the 18th player in major-league history to hit 20 or more homers in his first five seasons and the first in Sox history.
Pete Incaviglia (1986-90), Eddie Murray (1977-81), Tony Conigliaro (1964-69), Ted Williams (1939-42, 1946) and Joe DiMaggio (1936-40) are the only players to accomplish the feat exclusively in the American League.
Abreu’s name continues to surface all over Sox record material. With 33 doubles — he lined one into the gap against Severino to drive in a run in the first inning — Abreu and Magglio Ordonez (1999-2003) are the only Sox players to hit 30-plus doubles five consecutive years. Abreu and Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals are the only players with 30 or more doubles in each of the last five seasons.
Abreu was 2-for-3 and is hitting .381 with seven homers, six doubles and 15 RBI in his last 16 games.
This and that
Second-base umpire Bruce Dreckman went to the Yankees’ dugout during the ninth inning to remove a large moth from inside his ear.
◆ The Sox will honor Jim Thome on his induction into the Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony Saturday. Mark Buehrle will be among the special guests.
◆ Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf presented Nevest Coleman, the wrongly imprisoned groundskeeper who’s back on the team’s workforce, with a World Series watch before the gates opened at Guaranteed Rate Field.