Giolito can’t hold four-run lead; White Sox fall to 9-24
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Right-hander Lucas Giolito failed in his quest for consistency Tuesday in an uneven four-inning outing against the Pirates that required 98 pitches.
Staked to a four-run lead in the first inning, Giolito couldn’t hold it, and the White Sox (9-24) went on to suffer a 10-6 loss, their fourth consecutive defeat and eighth in the last nine games.
The trouble spot for Giolito, who was coming off consecutive good starts, was the second inning. After the Sox worked over Pirates right-hander Ivan Nova through a 51-pitch, four-run first inning, Giolito struggled with his command and handed the four runs back in the second.
“That they gave me four runs in the first inning, and I went out and gave up four is unacceptable,’’ Giolito said. “To throw that many pitches in that few innings, it’s just not getting the job done as a starting pitcher.’’
Giolito said he was “flying open” in his delivery, which has been a bugaboo.
“That’s something I need to get better at, not recognizing when it’s happening but making that adjustment as soon as it happens,” Giolito said. “Not an inning later or whatever, do it immediately. That’s what really good pitchers do, be able to make adjustments on the fly and get right quick. So that’s what I need to get better at.”
He worked through two scoreless innings after the second and was leading 5-4 on Jose Abreu’s RBI double in the second, but his high pitch count left manager Rick Renteria little choice but to turn the game over to his bullpen. Chris Volstad (0-2) was tagged for three runs in the fifth inning, and the Pirates tacked on two more in the sixth against left-hander Luis Avilan.
Welington Castillo homered twice for the Sox, who are 3-14 at Guaranteed Rate Field, the worst home record in baseball. The last time the Sox started 9-24 or worse was 1948, when they were 8-25.
Giolito (7.25 ERA), who entered the season on a high note coming off a 2.38 ERA in seven starts in 2017 and an excellent spring, allowed seven hits and two walks. He hit a batter and struck out three.
“He’s still in a situation where he’s continuing to learn who he is, and these hiccups are gonna occur,” Renteria said. “For him, it’ll be something to learn from and build on, and we’re very confident that what he will ultimately become will be something pretty good, but right now he’s still working through it.”