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Giants 9, White Sox 2: Frustrations mount for Lucas Giolito

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Poor defense, tight strike zone factors in loss, first ejection

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Chicago White Sox Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Lucas Giolito picked up his first ejection after his night ended, which is the most considerate way for a pitcher to earn one. He had words for home plate umpire Gabe Morales after Rick Renteria made a pitching change, and Morales gave him a quick heave-ho.

Giolito’s frustration was understandable for a couple reasons. First, the bottom of the strike zone evaporated on him.

Five of those strikes-called-balls came in the sixth inning alone, including a pair to Hunter Pence, his final batter. With runners on the corners, the man on first took off for second as Pence looked at a fastball on the outside corner. Instead of strike three, it was ball four. The throw went through to no effect, and Buster Posey stole home on the play, anyway.

That’s an awful way for a night to end, so it’s hard to blame Giolito for snapping at Morales. Plus, Giolito had to make numerous extra pitches due to poor defense behind him. Adding extra irritation to that sixth inning, Posey shouldn’t have even been on base, but Yoan Moncada couldn’t handle his pop-up behind second base.

It was similar to Reynaldo Lopez’s impressive six-inning outing, except Lopez had a better command of his stuff. Giolito fought himself a bit, and giving up a three-run homer to Pablo Sandoval to end an 0-for-39 slump is unpardonable, but he still probably deserved a quality start.

The Sox committed three errors, including two by Moncada. He thought about 4-6-3 before he secured the ball in his glove in the first, spoiling a potential inning-ending double play. Matt Davidson couldn’t handle a hot shot in the second, but that was with two outs and nobody on, and only cost Giolito three pitches.

Perhaps Giolito still takes the loss because the fourth inning was all him -- no missed strikes, no poor defense, and a really, really fat hanging changeup to Sandoval. Besides, the White Sox could only score two runs off Matt Moore, which came on one swing of the bat by Avisail Garcia in the bottom of the fourth.

The Sox didn’t have many scoring opportunities. Adam Engel created the best one in the third when he tripled with one out, but he got hung up between third and home on a contact play after Tim Anderson grounded to third. That was the first of an 0-for-5 performance with runners in scoring position.

Meanwhile, the White Sox bullpen looked like the White Sox bullpen. Danny Farquhar bounced back from his poor outing by retiring all four batters he faced, stranding a pair of inherited runners. Conversely, Juan Minaya pitched for the first time in six days and couldn’t complete his inning of work. He gave up three runs on four hits in the ninth, including a homer, while only recording two outs.

Al Alburquerque made his White Sox debut and only needed one pitch to close out the inning, getting a grounder to third.

Record: 54-86 | Box score