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Happy anniversary: Lucas Giolito recalls no-hitter

Giolito said his no-hitter is a treasured memory, but his playoff victory against the Athletics is the highlight of his career.

The White Sox’ Lucas Giolito is scheduled to start on Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of his no-hitter.
The White Sox’ Lucas Giolito is scheduled to start on Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of his no-hitter.
AP

It was brought to White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito’s attention that Wednesday will be the first anniversary of the no-hitter he pitched against the Pirates, a masterful 13-strikeout, one-walk performance in a 4-0 victory last Aug. 25 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Giolito was unaware of the date, but it won’t be forgotten, of course. It was a joyous, treasured memory.

‘‘It’s a relatively exclusive club,’’ Giolito said Tuesday. ‘‘To have that under my belt, hopefully, I throw more of them or even a perfect game. But I wasn’t expecting to throw a no-hitter at that point of my career. A lot of elite pitchers who have been around awhile are, like, ‘I want to get one of those.’ But it was one of those nights when the stars aligned. It will be a wonderful memory.’’

Giolito, who will start Wednesday against the Blue Jays, got 28 swings-and-misses, but he said he always will remember how the offense gave him a 4-0 lead after three innings, how the defense behind him was ‘‘pristine’’ and the game catcher James McCann called.

As sweet as it all was, however, Giolito said it doesn’t top Game 1 of the American League wild-card series last season against the Athletics, in which he threw seven innings of one-run, two-hit ball with eight strikeouts and no walks.

‘‘That was the highlight for me because it was the first time I had been in the playoffs, the first one for team in a while, and I had a really good start and we got the win,’’ he said.

‘‘I don’t really get nervous before starts. But that game, I was very, very nervous. I knew a lot of Chicago would be watching, and I knew how important it was to the White Sox organization, White Sox fans. It was hard to put that out of my mind in the days leading up to it.’’

Giolito (9-9, 3.77 ERA) hasn’t pitched up to his standards this season, but he has allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts. The big development has been establishing his slider as an effective pitch, particularly in his last two outings.

‘‘I knew I couldn’t be fastball-changeup guy forever,’’ he said. ‘‘Big-league hitters know how to adjust and base an approach against you on your approach against them. So getting that third pitch to where . . . I know I have my slider every time, it makes me a more complete pitcher.’’

Leury returns

Utility player Leury Garcia returned from the concussion injured list, and right-hander Ryan Burr was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. Garcia, who was hurt during the ‘‘Field of Dreams’’ game Aug. 12, started at second base, giving Cesar Hernandez a day off.

No comment

Manager Tony La Russa again declined to comment about right-hander Lance Lynn’s 3-0 pitch to slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with first base open in the Sox’ 2-1 loss Monday to the Blue Jays. Guerrero lined it for a tying single with two outs in the sixth inning.

Toronto TV cameras captured La Russa having strong words for rookie catcher Seby Zavala, perhaps for not looking into the dugout for an intentional-walk sign. Lynn said he wasn’t trying to throw a strike.

‘‘I know there has been video about what was going on in the dugout before the pitch, after the pitch, all that,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘I’m not going to comment on it, period.’’