White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito didn’t mince words about Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson.
“He’s a [bleeping] pest. That’s kind of a classless move. If you’re going to talk s—, talk s— to my face,” Giolito said after the Sox held on for a 7-6 victory over the Twins Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. “Don’t go across home plate and do all that, just come to me.”
After belting has 12th homer of the season in the first inning, a two-run shot with no outs to give the Twins a 2-0 lead, Donaldson appeared to yell, “Hand’s not sticky any more!” while rubbing his hands together as he crossed the plate.
Donaldson has been outspoken about Major League Baseball’s crackdown on pitchers for using foreign substances to improve their grips. Giolito said he wasn’t aware of what Donaldson did until “after the fact.”
“We won,” Giolito said. “The W’s next to my name. They’re in last place.”
Pitching to contact and striking out one batter, Giolito (6-5, 3.84 ERA) strung together five scoreless innings after the first. He was charged with a run in the seventh and three altogether, exiting after Trevor Larnach’s leadoff double in the seventh. He threw 97 pitches.
“It was kind of like survival tonight,” Giolito said. “I didn’t have very good feel. But able to sequence pretty well, made pitches when we needed.
“Credit goes to [catcher Zack] Collins behind the dish, calling a great game for me and the defense behind me tonight, get that W.”
The defending AL Central champion Twins (33-44), desperate to make up ground on the first-place Sox (46-32) and avoid getting buried deeper in the division, fell to 12 1/2 games behind the Sox.
Gavin Sheets had a single, douible and two RBI in his major league debut, and Leury Garcia drove in two runs. Ryan Burr retired all four batters he faced before Liam Hendriks allowed a run in a shaky ninth but recorded his 21st save.
Hendriks hit a batter, walked one and threw two wild pitches in the ninth.
Donaldson did not talk to media after the game.