Lucas Giolito makes final tuneup, Luis Robert hits two long homers in White Sox’ intrasquad game

Right-hander Lucas Giolito will be the White Sox’ starting pitcher when they open the season Friday; there’s little doubt about that. Manager Rick Renteria hasn’t made it official yet.

SHARE Lucas Giolito makes final tuneup, Luis Robert hits two long homers in White Sox’ intrasquad game
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Lucas Giolito of the White Sox delivers the ball against the Kansas City Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Right-hander Lucas Giolito will be the White Sox’ starting pitcher when they open the season Friday; there’s little doubt about that. Manager Rick Renteria, as is his custom, usually waits till the last minute to make it official, and this year is no different.

Giolito was an All-Star in a remarkable turnaround season in 2019 and was lined up for the honor in spring training and again in summer camp. In his final tuneup for his expected start against the Twins on Friday, Giolito got 15 outs in an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. Unofficially, Giolito would have been charged with two runs, seven hits, two walks and two wild pitches. He struck out five.

Renteria might make it official Sunday, and when he does, he’s also expected to say Dallas Keuchel, who will start against the Cubs in an exhibition Monday, will pitch the second game.

“I’m sure I’ll be having a conversation [with the starters] in the next day or so,” Renteria said Saturday.

Robert’s second, third bombs

Giolito might have caught a break not having to face rookie center fielder Luis Robert, who hit somewhere around 900 feet worth of home-run distance in two at-bats, taking a low Kelvin Herrera fastball into the shrubbery beyond the center-field wall and lifting a slider from Steve Cishek on the inner half of the plate into the last row of seats beyond left field.

While falling down, Robert homered to center against Carlos Rodon last Saturday, creating quite a buzz. He has also impressed in the field and on the bases with his speed.

Robert would make his major-league debut on Opening Day.

Yoan might play in exhibition

Renteria was not ruling out the possibility of Yoan Moncada playing in one of the three exhibitions and remained “certainly hopeful he’ll be part of us as we open up.”

Playing Sunday night against the Cubs at Wrigley Field would seem to be a stretch. The Sox host the Cubs on Monday and the Brewers on Wednesday.

“It wouldn’t be a stretch to see him in any one of these exhibition games, not at all,” Renteria said. “He’s moving along well enough.

“You know, he’s a young man. . . . I’m sure he’s feeling pretty good.”

Moncada worked on the field with coaches Joe McEwing and Nick Capra.

Madrigal says he’s ready

Second baseman Nick Madrigal might make his debut in the season opener — there’s a good chance Leury Garcia opens at second base and Madrigal is added to the roster later — but he has no doubt he’s ready.

“I really do want to be a part of this team from the start,” Madrigal said. “I feel like I deserve it.

“I’ve never wanted something so much in my life, just to be a part of this team right now, and I feel like I can help this team win. . . . It should come out in the next couple of days. I’m excited to see what they say.”

Madrigal lined out and hit the chalk with a double down the third-base line against Giolito.

Basabe out

Outfield prospect Luis Basabe is day-to-day with a bruised foot.

Another outfield prospect, Luis Gonzalez, joined the team from the taxi-squad camp in Schaumburg.

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