Levine: Lucas Giolito Shines, Earns First Big League Win

By Bruce Levine–

CHICAGO (CBS) — Right-hander Lucas Giolito was hoping not to be too easy to scout in his second start if his White Sox tenure.

Consider it mission accomplished. After throwing the fastball on 69 of his 99 pitches in losing his first start with Chicago, Giolito fired seven scoreless innings and picked up big first big league win in the White Sox’s 7-1 win against the Tigers on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Giolito established his fastball early and mixed in a nasty slider and changeup all afternoon long to keep Tigers hitters off balance.

“We did a really good job of filling up the strike zone with all four of my pitches,” Giolito said. “The slider was a really good swing-and-miss pitch at times. It was a day where I got all four of my pitches over for a strike. I could throw that good one down when I needed it.”

Giolito held the Tigers to two hits through six innings, then got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning by retiring Jose Iglegias on a groundout after Iglesias nearly hit a grand slam on a foul ball. His final line was seven innings, three hits, three walks, one hit batsman, four strikeouts and no runs allowed.

“Off the bat it was a little scary,” Giolito said. “I saw it sail foul. I said to myself, ‘OK strike one, let’s get to the rest of the at bat and get out of the inning.'”

The 23-year-old Giolito was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Adam Eaton to the Nationals last December. Also included in the deal were Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning. All three could become mainstays of a Chicago rotation that has a bright future.

Giolito intends to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, and Sunday marked the first of what he hopes is many wins in a White Sox uniform.

“(Composure) is a huge part of my game,” Giolito said. “That is something I learned about in Washington last year. You must know as a starting pitcher, you must have control of the game. You need to be able to take that deep breath when you need to. You must learn to work at your pace. You just kind of have to dictate the game. I believe we did a good job of that today.”

Giolito was awarded a WWE-style wrestling belt that goes to the White Sox’s player of the game, and he also grabbed a game ball. He planned to give that to his parents.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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