The first inning woes continued for Lucas Giolito in today’s 8-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Once again, he had an absolutely catastrophic first inning, before locking it in and providing an additional five quality innings.
After the Chicago White Sox went three up, three down to start the first inning, Cedric Mullins began the bottom of the frame with a leadoff double, and it would take Giolito eight more batters to retire the side. The Orioles tacked on five runs when it was all said and done, and the White Sox defense ensured it. Between Welington Castillo doing his best “Han Solo cryogenically frozen in carbonite” impression while trying to catch Mullins between second and third (allowing Joey Rickard to reach first base safely on a fielder’s choice), Yoan Moncada making an ill-advised throw home allowing DJ Stewart to also reach first base on a Fielder’s choice, and a Matt Davidson error at first, it definitely was not the finest hour for Ricky’s Boys.
If going down 5-0 in the first inning is supposed to get you down, Daniel Palka didn’t get the message. He would get one run back in the top of the second, the first of two “Palk Smashes” he would provide on the night. The home run in the second gave him the most home runs in White Sox history for a left-handed rookie. Thank you, Minnesota!
Giolito would settle in after his disastrous first, allowing only one earned run on five hits in five additional innings of work. His lone earned run after the first inning came in the bottom of the fourth, off of a Jonathan Villar home run, and that was the only remnants of the O’s offense to show up after the first while Lucas was on the mound. The righthander showed great poise for the rest of the game and dismissed any Oriole baserunners promptly by getting players to ground into double plays for three consecutive innings.
While the O’s bats were taking a break, the White Sox would try and get themselves back in the game, and for all intents and purposes they did, albeit for only a short amount of time. Following the Villar home run in the bottom of the fourth, the Sox would tack on three more runs to start the fifth.
Moncada started things off in the inning by reaching first base safely when Trey Mancini mooned the river for an error, and then Yolmer Sanchez brought him home with his eighth home run, to straightaway center field.
The two-point conversion is GOOD. pic.twitter.com/x4wu5EIAWY— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 16, 2018
The Good Guys would get one more run in the inning, via Palka, and his second “Palk Smash” of the game. Thank you again, Minnesota!
Unfortunately, Palka would leave the game in the seventh inning after attempting to make a sliding catch on a Renato Nunez double. The team is calling it a “jammed knee,” so hopefully we can all enjoy a little more “Palkmania” before the season comes to a close.
The three runs in the fifth would be the closet the Sox would get to the Orioles for the rest of the game, and the last runs they would put on the board. On the other hand, the Orioles offense would come back alive after Giolito exited the game after six. Over two innings of relief work, the White Sox bullpen allowed the O’s to add two security runs in the seventh and eighth, on three hits.
The loss prevented the White Sox from sweeping the series, but the South Siders came out of Baltimore with a much-needed series win (unless of course you are cheering for a tank and better draft pick, in which case, to you I say, “BOO!”).
Next up is another road series, against the division-winning Cleveland Indians. After a day off tomorrow, Carlos Rodon takes the mound on Tuesday against Cleveland ace Corey Kluber.