Giolito, White Sox fall apart in 7-2 loss to Tigers
Heading into Thursday night's series opener against the Tigers in Detroit, White Sox starting pitchers had a 2.37 ERA over the last 13 games.
The bullpen was even better, posting a 0.91 ERA over the last 10 games.
The Sox offense was doing its part as well, scoring 20 runs in the last five games.
Add in their recent success at Comerica Park -- a 7-1 record while outscoring the Tigers 58-20 -- and the White Sox were looking good all the way around.
But the numbers did not hold up, and the Sox got what they deserved in a 7-2 loss to Detroit.
The trouble started with Lucas Giolito, who was 3-3 with a 2.66 ERA in his last 8 starts. The right-hander also had 51 strikeouts and only 11 walks in 50.2 innings over that span.
Giolito looked sharp in the first inning, striking out the side while issuing a walk, but he unraveled after that.
Lasting just 3⅔ innings, Giolito allowed 4 runs on 6 hits and 7 walks while throwing 89 pitches (49 strikes).
"Walking seven guys in a game, I mean, it's unacceptable," he told reporters. "The team's going good, wanted to set the series off on the right start and I did that in the first inning but lost feel and didn't get it back."
The 7 walks matched a career high, not that Giolito is going to dwell on it.
"It's one of those ones where I could dive into it and get analytical, but I'd rather just flush it and move on because I've been throwing the ball well," he said. "I don't know if I ever had a rhythm. I could feel one mechanical thing that's pretty easy to clean up, with my balance. Other than that, I don't really have much of an explanation. Just pretty unacceptable."
Relievers Garrett Crochet and Aaron Bummer also struggled in the loss.
Still shaking off the rust after missing all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, Crochet issued 4 walks while giving up 1 run in 1⅔ innings.
Bummer allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in 1⅓ innings.
"It's a pretty simple game -- we gave away too many free bases," White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. "(Giolito) has been great and when he struck out the first two hitters, I thought he was going to be really good again. He just lost the strike zone.
"We really never got much going offensively, either. This is a game the whole team needs to flush and get ready for tomorrow."
Pitching 6 innings, Tigers starter Alex Faedo had a career-high 10 strikeouts while allowing 2 runs on 3 hits.
"This felt really good," said Faedo, who opened the season at Class AAA Toledo. "That's the best slider I've had since I've been back up here."
Tim Anderson gave the Sox a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the third inning and Gavin Sheets homered in the sixth.
Luis Robert was back in the White Sox's lineup after missing Wednesday's game at Cleveland with a sore quad. The center fielder was 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts.