'We came to play this series': Behind a dominant Lucas Giolito, the Chicago White Sox sweep the San Francisco Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — How overwhelming was Lucas Giolito on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants?

The first seven outs the Chicago White Sox starter recorded came via strikeouts.

The Giants didn’t put a ball in play until the third inning, when No. 9 hitter Austin Wynns lined out to third.

Giolito gave the Sox exactly what they needed to complete a three-game sweep, allowing one run on three hits in six innings as they beat the Giants 13-4 in front of 30,155 at Oracle Park.

Throughout the weekend, the Sox looked like the team that many projected in the preseason. They had 17 hits on Sunday to complete a 4-2 trip.

“We played six games as hard as we could, and coming out (Sunday) after we won the series (Saturday) and putting in that kind of effort shows how special these guys are,” Red Sox manager Tony La Russa said. . “It starts with (Giolito). I was mowing them down at first.”

Giolito looked good from the start. And he said he felt fine.

“This is probably the best changeup I’ve had in a long time,” Giolito said. “(Catcher) Seby (Zavala) did a very good job of sequencing. Mixing up the change, going to the slider at the right time, using tunnels, popping heaters in and out on lefties and righties. We were able to work relatively efficiently.

“I got a really good lead, the offense was doing its thing, the defense behind me was outstanding. In general, pretty good.”

Giolito built a strong start Monday against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., in which he allowed two runs on six hits in six innings.

“I feel like the end of my last start and for most of the course of this start, I felt like myself,” Giolito said. “Capable of making the shots he wanted to make.”

He struck out seven and walked two while improving to 5-4 and lowering his ERA from 5.19 to 4.90.

“It was really good,” Zavala said. “His work of him in the last few weeks has really shown the last two starts.”

Zavala had three hits and three RBIs. Gavin Sheets and Andrew Vaughn also drove in three. Leury Garcia had three hits and scored three runs.

The Red Sox got some timely hits and took advantage of the Giants’ less than stellar defense to take the lead in the third.

With one out, Tim Anderson grounded out to short for what should have been a double play late in the inning, but Donovan Walton threw wildly to second. The ball went into foul territory, allowing Josh Harrison to get to third and Anderson to second.

The Sox cashed in on a two-out, broken-bat single to right off Luis Robert for a 2-0 lead.

The Red Sox collected another big hit with two outs an inning later when Zavala drove in Garcia with a single to center field. Sheets drove in three in the fifth with a double to left field, making it 6-0.

“We’re hitting good,” Zavala said. “We’ve always been swinging bats right, just hitting balls right at people. They are starting to drop now and things are starting to turn out the way we want.”

The offense gave Giolito a lot to work with.

“I don’t know if there are words to describe how good he really was,” Harrison said. “It was noticeable from the beginning of the game.”

Giolito didn’t allow a hit until the fourth, when Joc Pederson popped up to left. Anderson had a long way to go and got a glove, but the ball came out for a single. Later in the inning, third baseman Yoán Moncada made a tremendous spinning catch on a fly ball.

Austin Slater singled and Pederson drove home with a double in the sixth. But Giolito retired the next three, including a good catch on Harrison’s fly ball at second base.

“Both plays were critical,” La Russa said of Moncada and Harrison’s receptions.

Harrison had two hits, two walks and scored three times.

He singled and scored during a five-run eighth as the Red Sox excelled in every area before a crucial streak of 19 straight games against AL Central opponents, including 15 in the 14 days leading up to the stars.

“We came to play this series,” Giolito said. “This is the brand of baseball the Chicago White Sox are all about. It’s been a tough year, to say the least, dealing with injuries, dealing with some tough series, some losing streaks. But I feel like this series, we were able to put our foot on the gas.

“It gives me a good feeling. I think it gives the team a good feeling of coming home with some of these division games to come.”

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