Lucas Giolito has been billed as a big part of the rebuilding plan for the Chicago White Sox.
He’s starting to live up to expectations.
The rookie right-hander pitched seven strong innings and Avisail Garcia drove in three runs with his 18th homer and a double to lead the Chicago White Sox past the fading Kansas City Royals 8-1 on Sunday.
Kevan Smith had a solo homer and a single for two RBIs as Chicago took two of three from the Royals and dropped them 5 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card. Kansas City has seven games left.
The 23-year-old Giolito (3-3) allowed five hits while striking out five and walking none in his 11th major league start. Acquired from Washington with two other top pitching prospects last December, the 6-foot-6 Giolito has given up just four runs over 20 innings in his last three outings.
He thinks he can keep it up.
Chicago manager Rick Renteria has been impressed, even if he isn’t ready to pencil in Giolito at the top of the rotation for next season.
Lorenzo Cain’s homer on a high curveball in the fourth was the only run off Giolito, who threw 65 of 98 pitches for strikes.
Royals starter Ian Kennedy (4-13) allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings as he lost his seventh straight decision. The right-hander hasn’t won since July 26 at Detroit.