The Chicago White Sox will get an opportunity to sweep a road series and improve upon their impressive interleague record when they go for a third straight win over the host San Francisco Giants on Sunday afternoon.
The White Sox have used strong starting pitching as the foundation for 1-0 and 5-3 wins in the first two games of the set, with right-handers Lance Lynn and Dylan Cease leading the way.
Righty Lucas Giolito (4-4, 5.19 ERA) will attempt to complete the hat trick, opposed by Giants right-hander John Brebbia (3-1, 2.70) in an opener capacity.
The White Sox have managed just 14 total hits in the two wins, but have played error-free defense in running their interleague record to 6-3, the third-best mark among American League teams and fifth-best in all of baseball.
They won three of four from the Chicago Cubs and lost two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers in previous interleague series.
Little things have produced the difference in the first two games in San Francisco, White Sox manager Tony La Russa said.
“We put the ball in play (and) guys were aggressive running the bases,” he said after Saturday’s win. “And a couple big swings.”
One of the big swings by Gavin Sheets resulted in a line drive right at Giants left fielder Joc Pederson with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth inning as Chicago trailed 1-0. Pederson took a step in, and by the time he took a step back, the ball had sailed a few feet over his glove for what was ruled a two-run double.
The White Sox never trailed again.
The inning was set up by a throwing error on a potential double play grounder. The same thing happened two innings later, producing two more runs.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler threw up his hands in trying to explain the defensive miscues.
“We’re really working hard on process adjustments and practice adjustments. That’s really all we can control,” he said of pregame drills. “Once the ball is hit, the instincts take over and we can’t control it.”
Kapler hopes for better defensive support for Brebbia, who worked a four-batter, no-run first inning in a 15-6 win at Miami last month in his only start of the season.
The 27-year-old has opposed the White Sox twice in his career, both times in relief, without allowing a hit in two innings. Three of the six outs he recorded were via strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Giolito, a California native, will be making his first professional start in San Francisco. He has faced the Giants just once in his career, in his eighth career start in 2017, a game in which he took the loss after allowing a three-run home run to Pablo Sandoval in a 9-2 thumping.
Giolito has gone 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his past four starts, allowing 30 hits and 21 runs in 21 innings. His most recent outing was the best of the four, limiting the Los Angeles Angels to two runs in six innings in a 4-3 defeat at the start of the team’s current trip on Monday.
–Field Level Media