CHICAGO – Expected to be named American League pitcher of the month after going 5-0 with a 1.74 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in May, Lucas Giolito showed no signs of a June swoon Sunday.
In another gem against the Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field – the White Sox won, 2-0 – Giolito scattered five hits and had nine strikeouts over seven innings.
Giolito (8-1) has not allowed a run over his past 14⅓ innings, and his ERA has dropped to 2.54.
“Very satisfied,” the 24-year-old Californian said. “A bit of a relief after last year. I know a lot of people were doubting me. At times I doubted myself. I went into the offseason with a new plan, and the plan is working, so I’m going to stick with it.”
Giolito has been sticking it to opponents every fifth day, thanks to a shortened arm swing, a positive outlook and a great feel for his pitches.
In his outing against Cleveland, Giolito mixed in more curveballs and still threw an effective changeup and high fastball.
“His arsenal is not a secret,” catcher James McCann said. “There’s plenty of film, there are plenty of reports out there. So really, it’s us finding a game plan and then adjusting it based off of what the lineup is showing us.
“Today, it was a lot of fastball/changeup. We mixed in more curveballs today than we have in the past few outings, but overall it was just a continuation of what we’ve been doing start to start.”
Giolito has won seven straight decisions, the longest streak for a Sox starter since Chris Sale won nine in a row in 2016.
“I feel pretty good,” said Giolito, who got a standing ovation from the crowd of 26,453 when he exited with one out in the eighth inning. “Today, another good one. Doing a pretty good job of getting ahead of guys, filling up the zone, being aggressive in the strike zone. McCann back there was brilliant as always.
“The defense was really good today. We needed that with the small lead for most of the game. It ended up being a good one all around.”
Giolito outdueled Cleveland rookie Zach Plesac, the nephew of former major-leaguer Dan Plesac.
In just his second major-league start, the Crown Point, Indiana, native held the Sox to one run on four hits over seven innings.
“Before the game, I heard a lot of people yelling my name, and to see my family and people I haven’t seen in a long time, it was a special moment for me,” Plesac said. “It was awesome.”
Tim Anderson supplied all of the offense for the Sox (29-30), who are back in a second-place tie with the Indians after a 6-1 homestand.
In the fourth inning, Anderson hit a home run off Plesac. He added an RBI double in the eighth.
“We got swept by Minnesota, but we came here and competed this whole homestand and were able to get six out of seven,” Anderson said. “It’s fun. It’s fun to be in the mix of that. We’ve been playing real well.”