Lucas Giolito’s second consecutive strong start just what White Sox needed
Giolito struck out seven in the first three innings and allowed one run in six innings against the Giants.
SAN FRANCISCO — Right-hander Lucas Giolito allowed one run in six innings Sunday, precisely what the White Sox needed on a day their top two relievers and only left-hander were unavailable.
Giolito allowed three hits, got his first seven outs on strikeouts, then relied on contact to finish a 102-pitch outing. His changeup was on point in his second consecutive strong start.
‘‘This is probably the best my changeup has been in a really long while,’’ said Giolito, who got 12 swings-and-misses. ‘‘I know when I execute pitches there is a good chance I’ll get swings-and-misses and weak contact. For me, it’s about singular pitch focus, this batter and this pitch.’’
Giolito’s ERA soared from 2.53 to 5.60 in five starts from May 31 to June 22.
‘‘We’ve been grinding, getting it right [mechanically], and I feel like myself from the end of my last start through this one,’’ he said.
Top prospect’s streak at 40
Shortstop Colson Montgomery, the Sox’ first-round pick (22nd overall) in the draft last year, has reached base safely in 40 consecutive games, including all nine since being promoted from Single-A Kannapolis to High-A Winston-Salem on June 24.
The 6-4 Montgomery, 20, extended the remarkable streak with a double in his first at-bat Sunday. He entered the game hitting .330/.430/.498 with six home runs, 13 doubles, 31 RBI, 38 runs scored and 31 walks in 52 games.
‘‘He looks like a guy who’s been at this for a while,’’ assistant general manager and director of player development Chris Getz said. ‘‘On both sides of the ball, he’s very under control.’’
When Montgomery was out for two weeks with a bruised thumb, he declined an opportunity to shake off the rust and go to Arizona for live at-bats before returning to Kannapolis.
‘‘Lo and behold, he gets back in the lineup and he’s more productive than before,’’ Getz said.
Engel about ready
Outfielder Adam Engel, who is on the injured list with a strained right hamstring, ran at full speed on the bases, perhaps the last box he needed to check before being activated.
‘‘I’m really, really close,’’ Engel said. ‘‘Feels a lot better, lot stronger, getting really confident in it.’’
Outfielder Eloy Jimenez (torn hamstring tendon behind right knee) is close to returning from his rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte, perhaps this week.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal (back spasms) also ran the bases, but not as much or as hard as Engel. Grandal running ‘‘is a good sign,’’ manager Tony La Russa said, ‘‘but I don’t think we’re close yet [to a rehab assignment].’’
This and that
Former Sox Yermin Mercedes was called up before the game and entered as the Giants’ catcher in the ninth inning. He caught Austin Wynns, who started at catcher but mopped up on the mound.
Mercedes doubled against reliever Vince Velasquez, who gave up three runs and four hits in 1⅓ innings before getting pulled.
• The Sox scored 13 runs without a home run and have hit only three homers in their last 12 games.
• The Sox are batting .272/.321/.397 on the road, compared with .233/.296/.355 at home.
‘‘I guarantee you those numbers will be reversed at home from here to the end,’’ La Russa said.
• The Sox are 7-1 all-time at Oracle Park.
• The Giants’ 40-37 record is a 10-game difference from 2021, when they were 50-27 en route to a franchise-record 107 victories.