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Twins 4, White Sox 1: Lucas Giolito lacks support

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2017 debut flawed but decent, which is more than can be said about the offense

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Lucas Giolito’s first start wasn’t exactly one to remember, but that had more to do with his teammates.

The Twins scored four runs off Giolito on three homers, but he pitched well to last six innings, and he didn’t walk a batter. Both of those are minor triumphs, especially after Carson Fulmer’s disaster the night before. I’ll go into more detail about his start on Wednesday, but he fared remarkably well for only having a fastball and changeup. The Twins just started squaring up the heater after seeing it a second and third time.

The game turned in the third, and that had nothing to do with Giolito.

After doubling and scoring the first run in the first inning, Yoan Moncada led off the third with another double off Kyle Gibson. He moved to third on a Jose Abreu infield single off the plate, and Nicky Delmonico walked to load the bases with nobody else

Gibson was the one in trouble, but nobody told Avisail Garcia, Yolmer Sanchez or Tim Anderson. They all struck out, and on 11 pitches combined.

Giolito then gave up a solo shot to Jorge Polanco on a grooved 3-1 fastball to lead off the fourth, making Gibson’s escape a swing of at least two runs. Kennys Vargas added a solo homer in the fifth, and Eddie Rosario delivered a two-run shot in the sixth, although the first run scored was due to Leury Garcia losing Joe Mauer’s line drive in the lights. That miscue cost Giolito a quality start.

While the Twins started sizing up Giolito more effectively, the Sox couldn’t do the same with Gibson. After loading the bases with nobody out, Gibson went on to retire the next 10 Sox. Gibson cruised from there by retiring the next 10 batters. The Mizzou product ended up holding the Sox to one run on seven hits and a walk, striking out a season-high eight while throwing just 91 pitches.

The Sox only had two hits the rest of the game, and both singles were immediately erased by double plays, which would’ve wasted even a better effort from Giolito.

Bullet points:

*Moncada showed more life. After running kinda gingerly in the first inning of the first game on Monday, he showed no signs of shin splints tonight. He started the game by stretching a grounder that deflected off Brian Dozier’s glove into an easy double, then scored on a wild pitch that didn’t get all that far away from Jason Castro.

*Aaron Bummer and Mike Pelfrey delivered three scoreless, hitless innings between them, which is commendable after a doubleheader taxed the others.

Record: 48-76 | Box score