Lucas Giolito hasn’t lost or given up more than three runs in a start since mid-April. The Royals have been striking out at an alarming rate.
Given those trends, Giolito’s latest dominant outing wasn’t much of a surprise.
Giolito worked into the eighth inning and had a career-high 11 strikeouts – all in the first five innings – to win his seventh consecutive start, outdueling Brad Keller as the Chicago White Sox beat Kansas City 2-0 on Saturday.
Giolito (9-1) allowed three hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.28. He has allowed no more than one run in six of his seven straight wins. Giolito went 10-13 with a 6.13 ERA in 2018, his first full season.
The hottest pitcher in baseball said he was merely executing catcher James McCann’s game plan.
Or no contact at all.
Giolito recorded eight consecutive outs via strikeout from the start of the second inning until he retired Nicky Lopez on a foul pop to end the fourth. Then he struck out the side again in a perfect fifth.
The Royals have seen him more than anyone – he’s 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA in four starts against Kansas City this season.
Rookie Eloy Jimenez hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Keller (3-8), who otherwise was nearly as good as Giolito. Jimenez’s blast snapped a 42-inning homerless streak for Keller, who worked eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out four.
The Royals reached double figures in strikeouts for the 10th time in their last 15 games. They have 149 Ks over that span. Ryan O’Hearn fanned in his first two at-bats, extending his streak of games with multiple strikeouts to five.
Yost was ejected for arguing a strike call to Alex Gordon in the sixth inning.