Chicago White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito might have let early adversity knock him off his game last year.
Not this season.
Giolito allowed one run in seven innings to win his second straight start, Tim Anderson and Yonder Alonso homered and Chicago beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 on Sunday.
Giolito (4-1) gave up four hits, matched his season high with eight strikeouts and improved to 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his past four games.
“He just had everything going and worked extremely efficiently, so he was able to get deep into the ball game,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He looked strong, even in the seventh.”
Giolito pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings to beat Cleveland in his previous outing.
Four of Toronto’s first seven batters got hits, including three of the first four, but Giolito allowed just two batters to reach after the first.
“He really set the tone for us,” catcher James McCann said.
Giolito said he has been able to limit early damage by remembering to gather himself between each pitch when he’s in a jam.
“That’s a big, big thing for me this year, not letting innings get out of control,” he said. “Last year, that’s one of those innings that would probably get away from me. You know, give up three runs, put myself in a hole at the beginning of the game.”
Rowdy Tellez had an RBI single in the first inning. Teoscar Hernández hit a leadoff single in the second and Randal Grichuk walked to begin the fourth, but those were the only blemishes in a stretch that saw Giolito retire 20 of 22 batters.
“He kept his composure and did a really nice job,” Renteria said. “He’s maturing. This young man has done a lot to put himself in a better place and it’s noticeable.”
Ryan Burr and Aaron Bummer each pitched one inning to complete a four-hitter in the finale of a seven-game trip.
Toronto lost for the 10th time in 12 games and dropped to a season-worst eight games below .500. The Blue Jays have scored two or fewer in eight of their past 10 games.
“It’s just that everyone is struggling at the same time,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “When you’re down by four, it seems like 10. It’s not a good feeling. That’s were we are right now.”
Anderson hit a three-run homer in a five-run fourth that included Alonso’s two-run homer.
Aaron Sanchez (3-4) lost his third straight start, allowing five runs in six innings. He struck out 11, one shy of his career high, including five of his first six.
White Sox center fielder Leury García stayed down after crashing into an unpadded section of the outfield wall as he hauled in Justin Smiak’s deep drive in the third. Garcia finished the inning, but was replaced in the batting order by Carlos Rondón in the fourth.
Renteria said Garcia is day to day.
Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled in the first, extending his streak of reaching safely to five plate appearances. Guerrero went 0 for 3 the rest of the day.
White Sox: OF Nicky Delmonico (left shoulder) was scratched from the lineup. Delmonico made a diving play in Saturday’s game. … McCann remained in the game after taking a foul tip off a groin in the seventh.
Anderson, who has developed a reputation for post-homer celebrations, said he wanted to flip his bat after going deep against Toronto in this series but didn’t after connecting off Sanchez.
“I thought about flipping it there and then I heard Ricky (Renteria) say ‘Run,'” said Anderson, who had paused at the plate to admire his drive. “He kind of interrupted me a little bit.”
Toronto’s Grichuk exchanged comments with Anderson on social media last month after Anderson flipped his bat in a game against Kansas City, sparking a benches-clearing incident.
DOLLARS AND CENTS
The Blue Jays agreed Saturday to send $30,000 to Oakland for acquire RHP Edwin Jackson. Jackson, who had been pitching at Triple-A, is expected to start for Toronto at San Francisco on Wednesday.
CRIME DOESN’T PAY
Anderson was caught stealing second in the third, a call confirmed by replay review, the first time he was thrown out in 13 attempts this season.
FOUR AND MORE
The White Sox are 17-5 when they score four or more runs.
White Sox: RHP Reynaldo López (2-4, 6.38) starts the opener of a two-game series against Cleveland on Monday. López faced the Indians in his previous start, allowing three runs in six innings.
Blue Jays: RHP Trent Thornton (0-4, 5.06) is scheduled to start Tuesday at San Francisco and RHP Tyler Beede (0-1, 18.69).