Lucas Giolito outdueled Brad Keller as the Chicago White Sox defeated the host Kansas City Royals 2-0 on Saturday. Giolito had a career high 11 strikeouts.
The victory for Chicago set up a rubber game for the series on Sunday, a contest that hasn’t gone well for the Royals. They are 0-5 in rubber games in 2019. They are 0-13 in rubber games dating back to May 30, 2018, when they lost the first game to the Twins and then won the next two.
The White Sox are 4-3 in rubber games in 2019.
Giolito was almost unhittable. He didn’t give up his first hit until a lead-off single in the fourth by Alex Gordon. At one stretch, he got eight straight outs via the strikeout. He matched his career high of 10 strikeouts with two outs in the fifth inning. He broke it with his third strikeout of that inning.
The reigning AL Player of the Month, Giolito (9-1) allowed just three hits and two walks to go with his 11 strikeouts. Alex Colome pitched the ninth for his 13th save in as many chances.
It was the 10th time in the past 15 games that Kansas City batters struck out at least 10 times. They now have 149 in 15 games.
Giolito may have been helped by a large strike zone from umpire Bruce Dreckman, which led to the ejection of Royals manager Ned Yost for arguing a strike call to Gordon in the sixth inning.
Brad Keller (3-8) was nearly as good. He was perfect in four of his first five innings. He allowed two runs on five hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out four.
But the one inning he wasn’t perfect cost him.
Keller saw his 42-inning homerless streak come to an end when Eloy Jimenez got a ball up in the air on a hot, humid day. It sailed just over the right field fence for a two-run home run in the second inning.
One of Giolito’s multiple strikeout victims was Ryan O’Hearn. O’Hearn struck out in his first two at-bats, extending a streak of multiple strikeout games to five.
–Field Level Media