Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease fell one out short of a no-hitter in Saturday’s 13-0 rout of the visiting Minnesota Twins, furthering his campaign for the American League Cy Young Award with a complete-game shutout.
On Sunday, fellow right-hander Lucas Giolito will aim to pitch the White Sox to a sweep of their American League Central rival as he continues a decidedly different-feeling season.
Albeit one that’s been looking up of late.
Giolito (10-8, 5.27 ERA) won four of six starts in August despite pitching to a 5.68 ERA during the month. His outings ranged from five innings of one-run ball at Texas to a three-inning, seven-run flop against Houston.
“At this point, what’s in the past is in the past, and I’m just going to focus on my work and focus on finishing strong,” Giolito said. “I’m not pitching for any personal accolades.
“I’m pitching to try to give us a chance to get into the playoffs every time I take the ball. Playing for the team, trying to give it my all out there every single start.”
Winners of four straight, the White Sox have pulled within two games of division-leading Cleveland and one game of the second-place Twins.
Chicago has won six of its past seven against Minnesota. After Sunday, the teams are set to meet six times over the final nine games of the regular season.
Hovering around .500 throughout the season while dealing with inconsistency and injuries, the White Sox could be getting hot at the right time as Cleveland and Minnesota fizzle.
The Twins have lost three in a row on the heels of a five-game winning streak.
The Guardians, meanwhile, were blanked 4-0 by Seattle on Saturday, their fourth straight loss and seventh in nine games.
The White Sox have made up four games on Cleveland in the standings in their past four games played.
“We’re getting on a roll,” Chicago outfielder Andrew Vaughn said. “We’re getting consistent at the plate, we’re having good at-bats, pitching well. Got to keep rolling every day.”
Minnesota will give the ball to righty Dylan Bundy (7-6, 4.53) with the team in need of an extended start.
Twins starter Tyler Mahle worked just two innings on Saturday, succumbing to the same right shoulder inflammation that had put him on the injured list.
A trade deadline acquisition from Cincinnati, Mahle made three starts for the Twins before landing on the IL, a spot he likely will visit again, per manager Rocco Baldelli.
“I’m going to go in under the premise that he’s not going to throw for a little while,” Baldelli said. “What that means going forward? No one knows the answer to that yet. I’m not closing the book on him, this season, pitching for us. But he’s going to be down for now.”
Bundy is coming off a no-decision against Boston on Monday, when he scattered two runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. He is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in three starts against the White Sox this season and 6-0 with a 3.47 ERA in nine games (eight starts) versus Chicago in his career.
Giolito pitched four innings of one-run ball against the Twins on April 24 in a no-decision. In 17 career starts versus Minnesota, he is 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA.
–Field Level Media
–Field Level Media