White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito entered Friday night’s game having dominated the Guardians in his last 10 starts, allowing two runs or less in each of those starts.
Well good riddance to that streak.
It was clear from the start that Cleveland had Giolito’s number, as the Guardians opened up a 4-0 lead in the first inning en route to an 8-2 win over the White Sox.
Giolito only lasted three innings, but it was death by a thousand cuts. In the first inning, Steven Kwan singled to right field on a 103.1 mph line drive. It was all downhill from there in terms of exit velocity. Jose Ramirez blooped a one-out double (78.6 mph) into left field to put runners on second and third, followed by a 74.8 mph RBI bloop single to center by Josh Naylor to give the Guardians a 1-0 lead. Owen Miller delivered a sac fly to make it 2-0.
Andres Gimenez doubled Cleveland’s lead with a two-run homer that was clocked at 98.4 mph, which is apparently the lowest exit velocity for a home run this season.
The Guardians were back at it again in the second inning against Giolito, with Luke Maile and Myles Straw reaching on back-to-back singles, neither of which exceeded 72.9 mph in exit velocity. Maile came around to score on an RBI single (72 mph) courtesy of Amed Rosario, before Ramirez made it a 6-0 lead with an RBI groundout to score Straw.
Naylor, who seems to relish racking up RBI at Guaranteed Rate Field, gave the Guardians their seventh and eighth runs with a two-run double in the sixth inning.
Command continues to be an issue for Cal Quantrill, but he managed to limit the White Sox to two earned runs over five innings of work in spite of his struggles. There was plenty of traffic on the bases, as Chicago batters reached on six hits and one walk with Quantrill on the mound. His most strenuous inning was the third, when he gave up a single and a walk to start the inning. Jose Abreu lined a one-out RBI double down the third base line to put the White Sox on the board before an RBI groundout by Yasmani Grandal made it a 6-2 deficit.
The Cleveland bullpen — Nick Sandlin, Enyel De Los Santos, Bryan Shaw, and James Karinchak — combined to hold the White Sox to one hit and one walk over the final four frames.