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White Sox's Lucas Giolito near perfect in Game 1 win over Athletics

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito allowed two hits and one run in seven innings to lead his team to a playoff win over the Oakland Athletics Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. File Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito allowed two hits and one run in seven innings to lead his team to a playoff win over the Oakland Athletics Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. File Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

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.

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"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."

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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.

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Adam Engel, Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal each homered for the White Sox. Shortstop Tim Anderson went 3 for 4 in the win.

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.

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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.

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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.

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