Giolito no-hit bid ends in 7th, White Sox beat Royals 6-3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lucas Giolito has mastered the Kansas City Royals, a trend that continued Sunday.
The rest of the major leagues? The Chicago White Sox hope the 6-foot-6 right-hander is ready to dominate there, too.
Giolito took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in his first start of the season, and the White Sox beat the Royals 6-3 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep in the season-opening series.
“It feels good to start off on a good note,” Giolito said. “Throughout my whole career, I’ve always had my not as good starts earlier in the year, and I wanted to change that this year.”
Giolito (1-0) walked Whit Merrifield on four pitches to begin the game, but then retired 19 straight before Alex Gordon’s single with one out in the seventh. Gordon fouled off four consecutive pitches before lining a curveball into center field.
“Besides that curveball, he was pretty much on all day,” Gordon said. “Like I say, give him credit. It was a good at-bat, but he had a great game.”
Giolito couldn’t finish the inning. Ryan O’Hearn drove in Gordon with a double into the right field corner, and Lucas Duda chased Giolito with an RBI single. Giolito was charged with two runs in 6 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. He threw 99 pitches.
Giolito was 10-13 with a 6.13 ERA in 2018 and led the AL in walks (90) and the majors in earned runs allowed (118). In seven starts against the Royals in his career, Giolito is 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA. In 14 starts against the other AL Central teams, Giolito has a 5.62 ERA.
“He was attacking the strike zone,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “Breaking ball was working well, he was commanding his fastball, probably tired a little bit there at the end, but really did a really nice job.”
Ryan Burr got the final out of the seventh to end the threat.
Yonder Alonso preserved the no-hitter with a diving stop in the sixth, and he and Jose Abreu homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth off starter Jorge Lopez (0-1).
Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
Alonso had two hits and three RBIs. Four other White Sox had two hits in the game, including Abreu.
Alonso also robbed Billy Hamilton of a hit by diving down the first base line to snag a line drive in the sixth.
Lopez and reliever Tim Hill combined to walk three straight during the sixth inning, resulting in two runs. Lopez allowed four runs in five-plus innings.
Royals right-handers Kyle Zimmer and Chris Ellis made their major league debuts. Zimmer threw a scoreless eighth inning, surrendering a single and striking out two.
The fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Zimmer spent six seasons in the minor leagues and spent last year way from the organization while working on his mechanics at the Driveline baseball facility in Seattle.
“This is just the first of hopefully many outings. Hopefully the first of many zeros,” Zimmer said.
“We’re just scratching the surface,” Yost said. “This is nothing. He’s got the ability to put together a nice run this year and establish himself as a major leaguer. That’s what he’s got to do now.”
Ellis matched Zimmer with a scoreless ninth, giving up two singles and a walk in the inning after retiring the first two batters he faced.
White Sox: OF Jon Jay (right hip strain) will have his hip reevaluated when the team gets back to Chicago later this week, and RHP Ian Hamilton is throwing as he continues to work his way back from right shoulder inflammation. Renteria said both players, who have been on the 10-day injured list since March 25, are improving each day.
White Sox: Ivan Nova makes his first start Monday as a member of the White Sox as Chicago travels to Cleveland for a two-game series.
Royals: Brad Keller will make his second start of the season Tuesday against the Twins. Keller has pitched 41 consecutive innings without allowing a home run, dating to Aug. 31. It’s the longest active streak in the AL and the second-longest streak in the majors.