White Sox’ Giolito in better place facing Orioles this time around

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Lucas Giolito throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

BALTIMORE — Right-hander Lucas Giolito said he wouldn’t have been shocked had the White Sox sent him down to Class AAA Charlotte in May or June to work out his considerable problems.

Nobody would have, not after the Orioles shelled him for seven runs in 1 1/3 innings May 24 at Guaranteed Rate Field, an outing that hiked his ERA to 7.53.

Giolito’s control was fleeting, he was leading the American League in walks and his velocity was down.

‘‘And I was definitely not in a good place mentally,’’ Giolito said.

He will be in a much better place when he gets another crack at the Orioles on Sunday. His ERA is down to 5.76, and he has had three starts with three earned runs allowed and three with one since the start of August. He is 3-1 with a 4.01 ERA and a .219 batting average allowed in his last five starts.

‘‘Pitching up here is not about development; it’s about what can you do now,’’ Giolito said. ‘‘You have to produce to earn your spot. I am lucky they allowed me to work through it up here at this level. I wouldn’t have had that chance in other organizations.’’

Too little, too late for Nate?

Reliever Nate Jones earned his first save since May 22 in the Sox’ 8-6 victory Friday, and it was reason to celebrate for a player who has dealt with his share of injures during his career.

‘‘It was nice to get in there in a high-leverage situation, battle and work through that,’’ Jones said.


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Jones, 32, was supposed to be an anchor in the bullpen this season — the Sox had closing in mind for him during spring training — but his latest injury prevented all that.

The Sox have options on Jones for 2019 ($4.65 million) and 2020 ($5.15 million). He has a career 3.05 ERA, but he might be considered a significant risk at that cost because of his health history and age.

‘‘If I’m coming back to the team, that would be awesome because the White Sox have been so good to me,’’ Jones said. ‘‘They’re the team that drafted me [in the fifth round in 2007]. They’re more like a family now. If not, those things happen, too.’’

Jones, who went on the disabled list June 13 with a strained pronator muscle, returned Tuesday. He has a 2.36 ERA in 29 appearances this season.

‘‘I’m going to educate myself in the offseason and do what I can with exercises and therapy for my elbow to make sure that doesn’t happen again,’’ he said.

Starters lined up for Cubs

Manager Rick Renteria altered the order of his starters — something made possible by days off Thursday and Monday — moving Carlos Rodon ahead of Dylan Covey for Tuesday. That means Rodon (6-5, 3.10 ERA), not Covey (5-13, 5.64), will face the Cubs in the series finale next Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Sox will look to play spoiler against the Cubs by starting Reynaldo Lopez, Giolito and Rodon against them.

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