Giolito, Sox hope for good start vs. Indians

CLEVELAND — Two pitchers who have a habit of losing touch with the strike zone will be on the mound Tuesday as the Cleveland Indians host the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field in the second game of a three-game series.

Right-hander Mike Clevinger (3-2, 3.32 ERA), who has averaged almost four walks per nine innings in his last four starts, will start for Cleveland and Lucas Giolito (3-5, 7.53), who leads the American League in walks, hit batters, and ERA, will start for Chicago.

In his last start, a 9-3 loss to Baltimore on May 24, Giolito only made it through 1 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs and six hits in 1 1/3 innings. He walked three with no strikeouts. Giolito’s 37 walks are the most by any AL pitcher. In two of his 10 starts, he has walked seven in a game. He has averaged 6.8 walks per nine innings for the season. Giolito has also hit a league-high 10 batters.

“He seems to be a guy that if he can get through that first inning comfortably, or even manage it with minimal damage, he seems to settle down,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria told mlb.com.

In the first innings of his 10 starts, Giolito has a 10.80 ERA. His ERA in the second inning is even worse, 12.54. In a combined 19 first and second innings of his starts, he has walked 11 batters and hit four.

“He’s got to stay focused, relaxed, and hammer the zone with strikes,” Renteria said.

“I feel good physically, my arm feels good, body feels good,” Giolito said.

“I’ve just been letting the game speed up and get out of control.”

Tuesday will be Giolito’s first career appearance against the Indians.

Clevinger has averaged almost four walks per nine innings in his last four starts.

“I get pretty fired up, and sometimes I think my emotions hurt me,” he said.

Clevinger is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in one career appearance against the White Sox. Tuesday will be his first career start against Chicago.

The White Sox are playing the series in Cleveland without their leading home run hitter. Infielder Matt Davidson, whose 11 homers are tops on the club, was placed on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to May 25), with back spasms.

Davidson was hitting .243 and ranks second on the White Sox with 28 RBIs.

To replace Davidson on the roster, the White Sox purchased the contract of Matt Skole from Triple-A Charlotte and designated for assignment pitcher Ricardo Pinto.

Skole, 28, made his major league debut in Monday’s game and got his first major league hit, a first-inning single off Adam Plutko, then added his first major league home run, a solo shot in the fourth inning. At Charlotte, Skole was hitting .259, with five home runs, 15 RBIs and a .360 on base percentage.

Pinto, 24, pitched at Charlotte and Class A Winston-Salem this year. In a combined seven appearances (four starts), he was 1-1 with a 7.40 ERA.

Cleveland took the first game of the series Monday, posting a 9-6 victory after taking advantage of three errors by the White Sox, who have the worst record (16-35) in the major leagues. The White Sox have lost four of their last five games.

The Indians are coming off a challenging portion of their schedule in which they went 5-4 in nine consecutive games against the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs. Monday was the Indians’ third win in a row overall.