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Abreu, Grandal Power White Sox to 4-2 Win Over Pirates

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It had been just over a year since Lucas Giolito no-hit the Pirates at Guaranteed Rate Field last season when Giolito toed the rubber again for the White Sox on Tuesday.

It wasn’t as dramatic, but Giolito again helps the White Sox defeat the Pirates, 4-2 in Chicago..

In his three previous starts vs. the Pirates, Giolito was 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA (six earned runs in 19 innings) and 23 strikeouts. He wasn’t able to fare quite as well Tuesday, going 4.1 innings before being removed from the game with left hamstring tightness. On the night, Giolito was charged with two earned runs on three hits and four walks, his second highest walk total of the year. He fanned five Pirates’ batters.

Even with the early exit from the White Sox’ starter, Chicago’s bats and bullpen helped carried the weight to victory.

Yasmani Grandal hit on opposite-field homerun off Pirates’ starter Bryse Wilson in the second to give the White Sox an early 1-0 lead. Jose Abreu, who entered play with 101 RBIs on the year, did the same thing in the third. Abreu leads the league in RBIs with 102 again in 2021 after doing so in the past two seasons.

After an infield hit and a bloop single to right, Bryse Wilson was lifted from the game in favor of Chasen Shreve, who loaded the bases after walking Grandal. He then walked Brian Goodwin, handing the White Sox a 3-2 lead. A Leury Garcia sacrifice fly extended the lead to 4-2, as both runs were charged to Wilson.

Wilson’s line read five innings, six hits, four earned runs, one free pass and a strikeout, though Wilson probably pitched better than that line indicates.

Chicago’s bullpen covered 4.2 strong innings after the Giolito injury to seal the victory for Chicago. Liam Hendricks picked up his 30th save, the most in the American Leauge.

The Pirates were able to cut the White Sox’ lead in half in the fifth, when Hoy Park scored from third on a wild pitch from Giolito. After Giolito was taken out of the game, Colin Moran ripped an RBI-single to right off Ryan Tepera, tying the game 2-2. The fifth inning was the only inning the Pirates crossed home plate.

The Pirates are probably glad to see the calendar flip to September, after going just 8-20 in the month of August.

The brief two-game series concludes tomorrow night with a scheduled 8:10 p.m. first pitch. It is expected Max Kranick (1-2, 7.20 ERA) will pitch for the Pirates against Carlos Rodon (10-5, 2.43 ERA).

Stat of the Game:

  • After the loss, the Pirates are now 8-8 in their inter-league matchups in 2021, a vast improvement from last year when the Pirates went just 3-17 when playing against the American League. From 2011-2019, the Pirates compiled a 103-70 (.595) record, and were .500 or better in eight of those nine seasons against the American League.

Takeaways: 

Yoshi’s Dominance: Over the last 15 days entering Tuesday, Yoshi Tsutsugo has the highest slugging percentage (1.000) of any player in the National League with at least 10 at-bats. He also ranks tied for second in homers (five), third in OPS (1.367) and tied for sixth in RBIs (11) over that stretch. During that stretch, he’s 8-for-26 and seven of those eight hits have gone for extra bases. Tsutsugo has provided a spark for the Pirates’ lineup, especially coming off the bench as he has mashed three pinch-hit homeruns with the Pirates.

Finally Healthy: With an RBI-single in the fifth, Moran extended his hitting streak to five games, and has now picked up at least one hit in seven of his last eight games. Since coming off of the injured list on Aug. 6, Moran is 21 for 71 (.296) with three homeruns and 11 RBIs. It has been a frustrating season Moran who has had two stints on the injured list, once with a groin injury and once with a wrist fracture. 

Brick Wall Behind the Plate: After Tuesday’s game, the Pirates’ catchers have now gone 174 straight games without allowing a passed ball, dating back to last season. That ties a Major League record in the modern-era. Jacob Stallings, Michael Perez, John Ryan Murphy and Andrew Susac are the men responsible for tying history.

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