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Lucas Giolito strikes out career-best 13 in White Sox’ loss to Athletics

Giolito was bullish about the future of the rotation after the Sox’ 2-0 loss Sunday to the Athletics. He sees Dylan Cease’s stuff and how Reynaldo Lopez has bounced back in the second half and predicts good times are coming.

Lucas Giolito throws during Sunday’s game.
Getty

Lucas Giolito was bullish about the future of the White Sox’ rotation after their 2-0 loss Sunday to the Athletics. He sees Dylan Cease’s stuff and how Reynaldo Lopez has bounced back in the second half and predicts good times are coming.

‘‘I think that, in the future, we can be one of the most dominant rotations in baseball,’’ Giolito said. ‘‘You look at the raw stuff we all have, it’s there. It’s just a matter of continuing to build confidence, gaining experience and just going out there and executing.’’

Of course, Giolito is a big part of that future. He showed why against the Athletics.

Giolito allowed two runs and five hits and struck out a career-high 13 in six innings. It was his third start this season with at least 10 strikeouts, and he is averaging 11.26 strikeouts per nine innings.

Giolito said his stuff is right where it should be for this time of the season. During the last two turns through the rotation, he got into the weight room and focused on maintenance after a post-All-Star-break lull in which his performance was ‘‘a little flat.’’

‘‘It’s a long year; the innings are starting to get up there,’’ Giolito said. ‘‘It’s all about maintaining and making sure I’m strong each and every outing. So I was much more well-prepared for this one.’’

As good as Giolito was, however, one mistake and no help from the Sox’ offense cost him a victory. A two-run home run by Matt Olson in the fourth was the only scoring of the game.

Chris Bassitt, whom the A’s acquired from the Sox in the trade for Jeff Samardzija after the 2014 season, pitched seven scoreless innings before three relievers finished the five-hit shutout.

Digging the DH

The 2019 Hall of Fame class featured two players who spent the majority of their careers as designated hitters: Harold Baines and Edgar Martinez.

‘‘It is a big part [of the game],’’ said Jim Thome, who ended his career as a DH. ‘‘All aspects of the game, in my opinion, should be recognized, and a guy shouldn’t be punished because they have a position that is valuable in the game. It adds to the lineup. Think about it.’’

Baines played 1,643 games as a DH and had 1,690 hits. One reason he succeeded in the position was his calm demeanor, which is especially important for a DH, who can’t help in the field.

‘‘It takes a special guy, a special player, to be able to understand the routine of what it takes to make you successful,’’ Thome said.

Some scoff at the challenge of the position, but Sox manager Rick Renteria isn’t one of them.

‘‘When you talk about DH’ing and you go, ‘It’s not as important,’ well, there are a lot of guys that can’t do it,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘These guys were able to do it and [have] that focus that it requires in order to be able to be effective hitters.’’

This and that

Reliever Kelvin Herrera (strained right oblique) returned from the injured list and threw a scoreless two-thirds of an inning.

• Outfielder Leury Garcia was scratched because he wasn’t feeling well.