MLB LOOK AHEAD

Up-tempo Gioloto ready to take on Royals

Field Level Media

May 28, 2019 at 6:26 am.

May 18, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito (27) delivers the ball in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Guaranteed Rate Field. Photo Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

May 18, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito (27) delivers the ball in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Guaranteed Rate Field. Photo Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito recently sped up his mechanics during a rain-shortened outing before ultimately deciding the adjustment might just work in any weather.

After throwing complete games in his two most recent starts — five innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 18 and nine innings against the Astros at Houston on Thursday — Giolito will look to maintain his success against the visiting Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

“In the (Toronto) game in the fifth inning, I really picked up the tempo because it started raining,” Giolito said. “I was like, why not just try and do that every time? So, I was just getting in attack mode early (at Houston), filling up the zone, and luckily I had my good stuff and we were able to mix sequences really well. It was a good one.”

Giolito (6-1, 2.77 ERA) will oppose the Royals’ Brad Keller (3-5, 4.43 ERA) after Chicago and Kansas City conclude Monday’s suspended game, which was halted with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning due to inclement weather.

Monday’s game included two rain delays totaling nearly four hours. The score is tied at 1 after Hunter Dozier (Royals) and Yolmer Sanchez (White Sox) contributed RBI singles before umpires stopped play for good amid a series of storms in the region.

“I’ve got to give a shout-out to the umpires,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “They did everything they could to try to get that game in. Bill Miller and his crew were fantastic. They gave us every opportunity to get through five. The weather just wouldn’t cooperate.”

White Sox groundskeeper Roger Bossard and his staff worked diligently after the game was suspended to nurse the Guaranteed Rate Field playing surface back to playable condition. Sizable puddles formed in the outfield during both delays, and the grounds crew needed to spread sufficient drying agent to prepare the infield.

The elements were of little concern to Giolito in his most recent start under the retractable roof of Houston’s Minute Maid Park.

“He was doing really anything he wanted to,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “Hats off to him for coming in and throwing all of his pitches for strikes. He’s changed his delivery, his arm action a little bit. He came in and really commanded the game from the very beginning.”

Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson was out of the lineup Monday with right wrist soreness, while outfielder Leury Garcia was out with right shoulder soreness.

Keller earned his first victory in more than a month on Wednesday, spacing two runs, two hits, four walks and three strikeouts in seven-plus innings against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Keller navigated through further control problems — he hit two batters — to limit the Cardinals attack.

Tuesday will mark Keller’s third start against the White Sox this season and second at Guaranteed Rate Field. He earned the victory with seven shutout innings on Opening Day on March 28 in Kansas City, before taking a no-decision when he allowed two runs over five innings in Chicago on April 17.

Keller is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in nine games (six starts) against the White Sox. Giolito is 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in eight starts against the Royals.