Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria is hopeful that Lucas Giolito’s no-hitter on Tuesday against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates could serve as a springboard for the club.
The White Sox and Dallas Keuchel will look for an encore on Wednesday vs. the Pirates and Trevor Williams.
“There’s still so much to accomplish for the Chicago White Sox,” Renteria said, “but you’re starting to see those stepping stones that these young men are moving forward in a positive direction. And you’re elated.”
Giolito surrendered just one baserunner — Erik Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk in the fourth inning — while striking out 13 in a 4-0 victory.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton said, “You tip your cap, it’s a loss. I mean, if we go out and get beat 4-3 and get 10 hits, we still lose. So we just have to move on and go tomorrow.”
Tuesday marked the seventh time the Pirates succumbed to a no-hitter, the first time since Washington’s Max Scherzer accomplished the feat in 2015.
The Pirates next must face another of Chicago’s top starters in Keuchel (4-2, 2.65 ERA). The veteran left-hander produced his own fine outing against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, when he allowed one run in a season-high eight innings.
“For us to do what we did (Friday) is a big step forward,” Keuchel said. “But then again, you think about it, we still have a lot of games left. We need to make sure we remember, ‘Hey, this is only game 20-something out of 60,’ even if it’s a shortened season.”
Chicago third baseman Yoan Moncada enters Wednesday’s interleague matinee with ongoing struggles in day games, as well as lingering leg soreness and fatigue.
Renteria still is likely to insert Moncada in the lineup, however, as the White Sox go for their ninth win in 10 games. Renteria wants to be careful with Moncada but also is keen on challenging players to test themselves amid adversity.
“When you’re in a situation where we are at — we’re really moving forward as a club, as an organization — the men have to understand (what) the game requires of you even when you don’t feel how you want to feel,” Renteria said. “The desire and impulse to continue to play and grind through what you are feeling from a physical standpoint because your team needs you. (Moncada) has to continue to grind, continue to push himself.”
Moncada walked and scored a run Tuesday. He rested Friday, but with the White Sox’s schedule featuring two off days this week, Wednesday figures to offer the chance for Moncada to improve upon his numbers under the sun.
In 10 day games this season, Moncada is batting .189 (7-for-37) compared to .271 (19-for-70) in 17 night games.
After the no-hit loss snapped a three-game winning streak, the Pirates will try to rebound behind Williams, who has shined throughout August despite lacking the victories to show for it.
Williams (1-4, 3.70 ERA) scattered one run and six hits in four innings Thursday in an eventual loss to the Cleveland Indians. However, the right-hander has pitched to a 2.81 ERA in three starts this month while striking out 14 in 16 innings.
“The name of the game is limiting damage,” Williams said. “Solo homers aren’t going to beat you, and one-run innings aren’t going to beat you. But it’s those three-, four-run innings that are really going to put you behind.”
Williams is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox, with nine strikeouts and two home runs allowed in 12 innings.
–Field Level Media