Anderson helps White Sox defeat Rays
CHICAGO — The Tampa Bay Rays spent a week studying film of Chicago White Sox rookie right-hander Lucas Giolito.
The preparation was futile. Giolito made the Rays look foolish at the plate as he notched a career-high 10 strikeouts in seven innings.
The White Sox cruised to a 6-2 win to claim the rubber match of the series on Sunday afternoon.
“He’s 6-(foot)-12, you know,” Rays outfielder Steven Souza said half-jokingly about the 6-foot-6, 255-pound hurler. “He’s a big guy and he’s got a live fastball. ... It makes the changeup that much better when you can command it at the bottom of the zone and the fastball at the top of the zone.”
As Giolito dominated on the mound, Tim Anderson delivered at the plate for Chicago (54-81). Anderson finished a triple shy of the cycle as he went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBIs.
“I thought about it,” Anderson said when asked about the possibility of hitting for the cycle. “If I had got another AB, I would definitely try to hit a triple. I was swinging the bat pretty good today.”
Tampa Bay (68-70) bemoaned a lost opportunity to gain ground in the race for a playoff wild-card berth. The Rays ended a nine-game road trip with a 5-4 record.
Giolito (2-1) set the tone by striking out back-to-back Rays hitters to lead off the game. The 23-year-old struck out at least one batter in six of his seven innings.
Giolito became the first White Sox pitcher to strike out 10-plus hitters within his first three starts since Chris Sale in 2012.
By the time Giolito’s day was finished, he had thrown 70 of 103 pitches for strikes. He limited the Rays to one run, one walk and three hits in seven innings.
Giolito credited catcher Kevan Smith with calling an effective blend of high fastballs and low changeups.
“I probably only shook him off once or twice,” Giolito said. “(I was) just throwing good pitches in good situations and being able to stay ahead for the most part.”
Right-hander Matt Andriese (5-2) drew the loss in his first start since a stint on the 60-day disabled list because of a stress reaction in his right hip. He gave up five runs and six hits in five innings and left after 74 pitches.
“I liked that I felt healthy,” Andriese said. “I went through five innings, felt pretty good the whole time out there. Didn’t get too tired. I was consistent in the strike zone, but I think I made a couple pitches that were easier to hit.”
Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer to complement Anderson’s production for the White Sox. Alen Hanson added two doubles and scored twice.
The White Sox jumped to a 3-0 advantage in the third inning. Anderson singled to score Hanson from second base. Abreu followed with a towering two-run shot down the left-field line for his 27th home run of the season.
“We had some timely hitting today,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “We had some good things happen.”
The Rays trimmed the deficit to 3-1 in the bottom of the third on Lucas Duda’s solo shot. The blast over the right-field wall marked Duda’s 26th home run of the season and his ninth with the Rays.
In the fourth, Adam Engel hit a run-scoring double off the wall in the left-center field to make it 4-1.
Anderson ripped a solo home run — his 15th of the season — in the fifth. He struck again in the seventh with a double that scored Hanson to put the White Sox on top 6-1.
Kevin Kiermaier finished the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right field in the eighth.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said a steady wind blowing out from home plate was not an excuse in the loss.
“Wind plays a factor here, for sure,” Cash said. “But those are the elements we’re both playing in.”
NOTES: White Sox 1B Jose Abreu returned to the lineup after missing three games with a sore elbow. Abreu joked that it was important for him to return “because my mom is not happy when I’m not playing.” ... Rays RHP Chris Archer is feeling better and will be re-evaluated Monday for right forearm tightness, manager Kevin Cash said. Archer, 28, left Saturday’s start against the White Sox after eight pitches. ... White Sox 2B/SS Tyler Saladino sat out after injuring his left hand Saturday on a slide into second base. ... The Rays recalled RHP Chase Whitley and RHP Andrew Kittredge to increase their roster to 30 players. ... White Sox LHP Derek Holland (7-14, 6.16 ERA) will move from the starting rotation to the bullpen for the foreseeable future, manager Rick Renteria said.