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White Sox grind out another one-run win

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After an early stumble, Lucas Giolito dominated Kansas City in a 4-3 victory

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros
Two of a kind: James McCann had another three-hit game, and Lucas Giolito struck out 10 in eight strong innings.
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

In another close game between the White Sox and Royals, Chicago came out on top once again. Lucas Giolito earned player of the game honors, as he went eight innings and was great once again.

This one got off to a disastrous start, as the Royals surprisingly teed off on starter Lucas Giolito in the first. After a single and a walk, Kansas City had two runners on base for cleanup hitter Alex Gordon. For once, Giolito threw a changeup that was not good, and Gordon took advantage, hitting a three-run shot to center.

Though Giolito started slow, things did not end that way for him. He went on a tear after the Gordon home run, just mowing guys down left and right. The next 18 Royals went 0-for-20 with nine strikeouts and just one HBP.

Meanwhile, the White Sox’s bats caught fire in the third. They also got an assist from some excellent BABIP luck that inning. The first three hitters singled, the last of which was off the bat of Leury García and drove in the White Sox’ first run. Yoán Moncada walked to load the bases, and back-to-back sacrifice flies by José Abreu and Yonder Alonso made it a 3-3 game.

In the fourth inning, the timely hitting continued. With James McCann at second and two outs, Charlie Tilson hit a single to drive in McCann and put the White Sox in front.

However, the White Sox missed a huge opportunity in the sixth. Still holding a 4-3 lead, they put runners on second and third with no outs after hits from James McCann and Yolmer Sánchez. However, they were stranded there, as Keller worked his way out of trouble.

That 0-for-20 stretch for the Royals finally ended in the eighth, when catcher Cam Gallagher hit a 76.9 mph Kansas City special that was hit to right where no one was. Fortunately, pinch-runner Terrance Gore was promptly thrown out trying to steal second by James McCann, who had a very quick release. Gore, who was 27-for-31 (87%) stealing bases in his career prior to this season, is only 5-for-10 this year.

Giolito got the last two outs of the inning without a problem, and his day came to a close. Eight innings, three hits, three runs (all earned), one walk, 10 strikeouts. 73 of his 107 pitches (68%) were strikes. Also, remember how Justin Verlander set the 2019 record for most swinging strikes in a game (28)? Giolito ended with 26 tonight. Once again, mercy, Giolito.

McCann got another hit in the eighth, which was his third of the game. It was also McCann’s second three-hit game of the day, as he got three of the White Sox’s seven hits in the first game.

Alex Colomé slammed the door shut in the ninth despite facing the Royals’ second, third, and cleanup hitters. Colomé got two strikeouts, including one to end the game against Alex Gordon.

The White Sox improved to 25-29, and the Royals fell to 18-36. Tomorrow’s game will start at 7:10 CST, and it will be televised on WGN. The game will be audible on WGN 720. Reynaldo López will start, as he looks to help the White Sox complete the sweep.