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McCann hits clutch blast in 2-1 win

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Lucas Giolito earns no-decision in excellent performance

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
Tough luck: Giolito got a no-decision despite pitching admirably in Tampa Bay.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Both starting pitchers played admirably in tonight’s low-scoring game. Neither starter allowed a baserunner in the first two innings. Old friend Avisaíl García hit a sharp line drive in the second inning, but Leury García made a web gem to rob him of an extra-base hit.

That was the closest either side got to a baserunner in either of those innings.

The first baserunner allowed by Lucas Giolito was Rays second baseman Joey Wendle, who reached on his 63.5 mph exit velocity Kansas City Special to lead off the bottom of the third. However, Wendle was promptly thrown out trying to steal second on an excellent throw by McCann.

As for Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough, it was not until the fifth when he finally allowed a baserunner. James McCann hit a sharp ground ball (99.2 mph exit velocity) through the right side to break up Yarbrough run of 12 up, 12 down to open the game. However, the White Sox could not capitalize on McCann’s base hit to open the inning.

The White Sox had a scoring opportunity in the sixth, as Adam Engel advanced to second base on a balk with two outs. But, Yoán Moncada struck out on a 2-2 sinker to end the inning.

Giolito ran into a bit of trouble in his half of the sixth, when Ji-Man Choi and Austin Meadows hit back-to-back singles to open the inning. However, he pitched out of the jam, retiring the next three on a strikeout and two balls in play that were softly hit.

The 0-0 tie was broken at last in the bottom of the seventh, when Avisaíl García hit a solo home run, which was a moonshot to left. The blast came off the bat at 111.2 mph and traveled 438 feet. In other words, this was not a cheap one. That was Giolito’s only blemish, as his final line was the following: six and two-thirds innings, one run, seven hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts.

The White Sox had another scoring opportunity in the eighth, as Ryan Goins singled, and Adam Engel drew a walk. However, once again, they failed to capitalize, as Leury García struck out on a slider.

The first two Sox were retired in the ninth, and it appeared they would go down easy. But, James McCann hit a clutch, two-out, solo home run to tie the game at one.

In the 11th, Yoán Moncada led off with a seven-pitch walk. Then, José Abreu hit a soft ground ball to the right side that found a hole. What made this even better was that Moncada took off on the pitch, so he managed to score on Abreu’s soft single. Just like that, the Sox took a 2-1 lead. In the bottom half, Willy Adames hit a sharp line drive to center, but Adam Engel tracked it down to end the game. Alex Colomé closed the door to earn the save.

The White Sox improved to 44-51, while the Rays fell to 56-45. The Sox will try to complete the sweep tomorrow, and that game will start at 12:10 CST. Dylan Cease is the White Sox’s probable starter. NBC Sports Chicago will televise it, WGN 720 will have the radio coverage, and Leigh Allan will have your coverage.