Lucas Giolito returns to top of White Sox’ rotation

Giolito threw six scoreless innings in the Sox’ 5-2 victory Sunday against the Indians.

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Lucas Giolito pitched six scoreless innings against the Indians at Progressive Field on Sunday.

Lucas Giolito pitched six scoreless innings against the Indians at Progressive Field on Sunday.

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Heading into the final week of the regular season, right-hander Lucas Giolito seems to be the only sure thing in the White Sox’ starting rotation.

As the Sox wind things down and tune things up for the American League Division Series, which begins Oct. 6, four of their five starters have question marks next to their names.

Right-hander Lance Lynn, the presumed Game 1 starter, has been pitching through a sore knee and pitched through a minor back issue in his 105-pitch outing Saturday. Left-hander Carlos Rodon is dealing with a sore shoulder. Right-hander Dylan Cease has a bruised right triceps. And left-hander Dallas Keuchel has a 5.13 ERA.

All seems perfectly well with Giolito (11-9), however, after he allowed five hits and struck out six in six scoreless innings in the Sox’ 5-2 victory Sunday against the Indians in Cleveland. Giolito, who slipped behind All-Stars Lynn and Rodon in stature during the first half of the season, continued to excel down the stretch. While Lynn has a 3.82 ERA in the second half, Giolito has a 2.71 mark in that time, including 2.42 in his last eight starts.

‘‘Just look at composure, repeating the delivery, having all his pitches [fastball, slider, changeup],’’ manager Tony La Russa said. ‘‘It was really hard for [the Indians] to get on anything because in any count he may have something different. That’s the mark of an outstanding starting pitcher. You can see him one at-bat, then the next time he starts you with something different [and] finishes with something different.’’

Giolito and Lynn will make their last starts of the regular season Friday and Saturday against the Tigers, with the order to be determined. They presumably will start in the order in which they’ll start Games 1 and 2 of the ALDS.

‘‘We’re talking about who starts what games,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘The fact is, you need to win three games [in the ALDS]. But it hasn’t been just lately that Lucas has been sharp. He’s been good all year. He should have 14, 15 wins easily.’’

Giolito pitched seven innings of one-run, two-hit ball with eight strikeouts in the Sox’ 4-1 victory against the Athletics in Game 1 of an AL wild-card series last season, and he looks ready for his October encore.

‘‘I’m putting a heavy emphasis on finishing strong and being prepared for the playoffs,’’ he said.

Yasmani Grandal singled in a run in the first, Eloy Jimenez singled in two in the third and Leury Garcia singled in one in the sixth before Billy Hamilton stole home for the Sox’ last run in the eighth.

Hamilton beat first baseman Bobby Bradley’s throw home when Tim Anderson stopped short of second on an attempted steal and got into a brief rundown. It was the Sox’ first steal of home since Gordon Beckham did it against the Cubs in 2013.

La Russa joked the play was drawn up between Anderson and Hamilton in a parking lot. It was one indicator the Sox had more spunk after they played flat in a 6-0 loss Saturday.

‘‘To come back today and pick things up, everybody was in it,’’ Giolito said. ‘‘It was good to see. Keep those good vibes going through the end of the season.’’

The AL Central champion Sox (88-68) will head to Detroit for a makeup game Monday against the Tigers, then will play their last five games of the regular season at home.

Giolito said he’s not worried about the rest of the Sox’ rotation as the postseason nears.

‘‘I have a ton of confidence,’’ Giolito said. ‘‘I know that Lance is Lance; he’s going to do his thing, no matter what. Dylan, it’s just a bruise and he’s coming along fine. Carlos is coming along well, and he’s going to be pitching this week. So I’m feeling pretty good about it.’’

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