CLEVELAND (AP) — Amed Rosario led off the fourth inning for the Cleveland Guardians with an infield hit. He advanced to second on a throwing error by Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.
The game was goalless. And Lucas Giolito saw to it that it stayed that way, with some help from his defense.
AJ Pollock made a great catch running near the right field line on José Ramírez’s fly ball for the first out. Giolito struck out Josh Naylor and Franmil Reyes flied into foul territory that catcher Seby Zavala caught with his glove on the railing near the third-base dugout.
Giolito called the works “massive”.
“Our job (as starters), we want to get as deep as we can and we want to get as many outs as we can,” he said. “Getting that support from the defense really lightens the load. Throwing fewer pitches is great for energy.”
Giolito allowed an unearned run on five hits in 6⅓ innings as the Sox beat the Guardians 2-1 in front of 13,987 on Wednesday to win a four-game series split at Progressive Field.
“The goal is always to give the team a chance to win, and I feel like I did that,” Giolito said.
Giolito struck out five and walked one as the right-hander followed. Dylan Cease’s strong outing in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader with one of their own.
“I just think he used his pitches,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “He used his fastball very well. He has a really good fastball and then you can use speed him off on any count, which you can’t really plan for him.
“He’s likely to make any of his four pitches in any count. Forward on the count, back on the count. It’s hard to hit against.”
The Red Sox played the last three innings without Eloy Jiménez, who left with a stiff right leg. The left fielder limped after catching a run to left-center for the final out of the sixth.
The Sox said Jiménez is day to day.
He was on the disabled list from April 24 to July 6 after suffering a torn hamstring behind his right knee running to first against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. His rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte he had a brief hiatus for what the team called “normal leg pain.”
“He felt a little cramp,” La Russa said after Wednesday’s game. “He thinks it’s a bit like what he felt when he was getting ready (with Charlotte). They will review it (Thursday).
“Right now, knock on wood, we don’t think he’s been re-injured. I’ll probably give him a couple of days off, but we’ll know more (Thursday).”
Guardians starter Aaron Civale left after the first with a sore right wrist. The Sox saw a parade of relievers and made their way against Sam Hentges in the sixth.
Yoán Moncada led off with a walk and moved to second on Luis Robert’s single. José Abreu drove in Moncada with a brace to the right. Robert scored when Andrew Vaughn grounded out to short.
Giolito left after allowing a single and a walk with one out in the seventh. The Guardians scored with two outs on a fielding error by second baseman Josh Harrison, but Reynaldo Lopez had Myles Straw ground out Harrison to end the threat.
Kendall Graveman struck out two in a perfect eighth and Liam Hendriks struck out two in the ninth for his 18th save.
“If we can get six innings out and give it to those guys, we’ll be in very good hands,” Giolito said. “I would like to go seven, eight, nine. Obviously we all want to be starters. But he got into a little trouble there in the seventh and passed and they did their thing.”
Stockings Head into a four-game series against the division-leading Twins. on a positive note.
“Great wins,” said Giolito. “These games against teams in our division, considering where we are, it’s important that we can take as many wins as we can.
“I feel like breaking up the series was important considering how it started for us. I have good vibrations in this last series before the break (All-Star).”