Luzardo has pitched well at home this season, going 3-1 with a 2.40 ERA. He shut out three of his past six home opponents — the Texas Rangers, Arizona and the San Francisco Giants — over 17 1/3 innings.
The 22-year-old threw three innings of one-hit, shutout relief in last year’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL wild-card game in his only previous postseason experience.
A’s manager Bob Melvin explained Monday that the outing against the Rays played a role in the decision to start him in Luzardo on Tuesday. Oakland will attempt to end a five-game postseason losing streak, including three consecutive one-and-done defeats in the AL wild-card game in 2014, 2018 and 2019.
“He looked like a veteran on the mound; he pitched really well,” Melvin said. “He’s composed, he’s got great stuff, he’s one of those guys who relishes these types of games at a young age. That’s rare to see.”
The White Sox, meanwhile, were 32-16 and had the best record in the AL on Sept. 15 before dropping nine of their last 12.
Giolito went winless in his last three starts due mostly to getting just seven runs of offensive support. He allowed eight runs in 17 2/3 innings.
The 26-year-old native of Santa Monica, Calif., has never lost in his home state, going 2-0, with both wins coming against the Los Angeles Angels.
He has gone 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two career starts against the A’s. The loss occurred on Aug. 11, 2019, in Chicago, when he served up a two-run home run to Matt Olson and was outpitched by Chris Bassitt in a 2-0 defeat. Giolito struck out a career-high-tying 13 in six innings during that contest.
Olson has two singles and two homers in six career at-bats against Giolito.
The White Sox worked out in Oakland on Monday afternoon, with all eyes on left fielder Eloy Jimenez, who missed the last three regular-season games due to a sprained right foot.
“So far, so good,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said during the session. “I’m cautiously optimistic I’ll be able to report something positive (Tuesday morning). DH isn’t out of the question. All options are open. We will make whatever adjustments we need to make.”
–Field Level Media