Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Chicago White Sox ace Lucas Giolito almost threw a perfect game to lead his squad to a win over the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of an American League wild card series Oakland, Calif.
Giolito retired the first 18 Athletics batters in the 4-1 victory Tuesday at RingCentral Coliseum. He didn't allow a hit or a walk until Tommy La Stella led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single to center field.
"For me, it was all about I'm going to give the team the best possible chance to come out on top after nine innings, whether I throw six, seven, eight innings," Giolito told reporters. "It doesn't matter. I was just focused on executing each pitch.
"If a perfect game happens, it happens. That was not on my mind, whereas like the one during the season, it was very much on my mind."
Giolito allowed two hits and one run and had eight strikeouts in seven innings to spark the triumph. Athletics starter Jesus Luzardo allowed six hits and three runs in 3 1/3 innings to take the loss.
Engel gave Chicago a 1-0 lead with a 389-foot solo homer off Luzardo in the top of the second inning. Abreu pushed the White Sox lead to 3-0 with a 412-foot, two-run shot off Luzardo in the top of the third frame.
Grandal smashed a 3-2 changeup from Athletics relief pitcher Joakim Soria to right field for a 381-foot solo homer in the top of the eighth inning.
Right fielder Mark Canha scored the Athletics lone run on a Ramon Laureano ground out in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Giolito -- a 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher -- threw the first no-hitter of the 2020 MLB season on Aug. 25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 2019 All-Star had a 4-3 record and a 3.48 ERA in 12 starts this season.
The Athletics host the White Sox in Game 2 at 3:10 p.m. Wednesday in Oakland. Left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel is expected to start for the White Sox. The Athletics plan to hand the ball to right-handed pitcher Chris Bassitt for Game 2.