Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
When and Where: Sunday, May 12, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ont., 1:07 p.m. EDT.
Toronto meets the Chicago White Sox in the finale of this three-game series. Lucas Giolito will meet Aaron Sanchez in a battle of right-handers.
Is Giolito on verge of turning corner for ChiSox?
Lucas Giolito (3-1, 4.06 ERA) was a 10-game winner — and a 13-game loser — last year as the White Sox (17-21) were content to let him learn his way through game situations. Some of those lessons appear to be paying off as the right-hander is coming off the best start of his career.
Lucas Giolito, Filthy 82mph Changeup…and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/quujzNVGdc
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 7, 2019
Giolito matched a career-high Tuesday night by pitching 7 1-3 innings, and he scattered three hits and three walks while striking out eight in a 2-0 victory at Cleveland. It was just the second time in his career Giolito pitched more than five innings without allowing a run.
‘‘They weren’t adjusting to it, so we just stuck with that,’’ Giolito told the Chicago Sun Times after relying on his fastball and changeup for all but four of his 105 pitches. ‘‘I was like: ‘Why mess around? Let’s go after them with heaters and changeups off of that.’ And it worked out well.’’
Giolito has won all three of his road starts this year, posting a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings. He has struck out 22 in those wins while limiting opposing hitters to a .182 batting average.
His lone start against Toronto came last year, and the righty left without a decision after yielding five runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings before the White Sox rallied for a 9-5 home victory.
Trade rumors abound as Sanchez starts for the Jays
For the second straight game, there may be as much fan attention on Aaron Sanchez as there is from opponents’ scouts as rumors persist the Blue Jays (16-23) will be sellers in the coming months as part of a rebuild.
⚾️ Vlad's handling of the spotlight, tough pitching
⚾️ Aaron Sanchez venting frustrations
⚾️ Creating roster space for Biggio, Davis
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticTO) May 10, 2019
Sanchez (3-3, 3.21) has tailed off following a good opening to 2019 and is trying to avoid losing a third consecutive start. The right-hander got no help Tuesday night versus Minnesota, giving up a first-inning run and a two-run homer in the sixth while pitching seven innings of Toronto’s 3-0 defeat.
“I was really impressed [with Sanchez],” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo told the Toronto Globe and Mail. “He minimized damage in the first inning and started throwing strikes and getting people out early in the count. He was outstanding. He gave us a chance.”
A chance is something Sanchez may prove hard to find given Toronto’s prolonged offensive struggles after Saturday’s 7-2 loss, the ninth in 11 games for the Blue Jays. They have 23 runs in span and have been held to two or fewer runs in five of their last six contests.
Sanchez has not recorded a decision in either of his starts versus the White Sox. He was reached for three runs and six hits in six innings of Toronto’s eventual 4-3 home loss April 4, 2018, in the most recent matchup.
The White Sox are:
- 8-3 in Giolito’s last 11 road starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
- 6-2 in Giolito’s last eight Sunday starts.
- 9-4 in Giolito’s last 13 starts during game 3 of a series.
The Blue Jays are:
- 1-6 in their last seven games vs. right-handed starters.
- 2-6 in their last eight during game 3 of a series.
- 4-10 in their last 14 games vs. AL Central opponents.