"I knew it was working after the first inning," Giolito said of his stuff. "It just kept building and building. After the sixth inning was when I really started to notice what was going on. After the seventh, I was like, 'I got six outs. We're going to make this happen.'"
The White Sox made two late-inning defensive plays to help the cause. Shortstop Tim Anderson moved to his right on a ground ball by Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds in the seventh, and first baseman Jose Abreu scooped up the throw in the dirt to keep the no-hitter intact.
"He made history in a very old game," Engel said. "I still can't get over how excited I am for Lucas. I'm still on cloud nine from the game."
Giolito, 26, walked one and struck out 13 using a combination of his fastball and his changeup. He produced 30 swing-and-misses, second most in a no-hitter since 1988. His 13 swing-and-misses on his changeup were the most in his career. It was his first career no-hitter.
"I don't have any words," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "I want to cry."
The no-hitter was the first without fans in the stands -- the previous lowest attendance for a no-hitter was 500 on Aug. 4, 1884. The White Sox swarmed Giolito near the mound but had to tone it down inside the clubhouse because of coronavirus protocols.
"It stinks we couldn't celebrate the way most no-hitter or perfect games are celebrated," Engel said.
The no-hitter was the 19th in franchise history, second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers' total. Giolito's game score of 99 was the highest by a White Sox pitcher since Wilbur Wood, who put up a 99 in an 11-inning shutout against the Detroit Tigers in 1974.
Giolito has come a long way in his career. He had a 6.13 ERA in 32 starts only two years ago.
"I always envisioned that I'd throw a no-hitter in the big leagues," Giolito said. "If you had asked me about it in 2018, I probably would have [said], 'What the hell are you talking about?' It's a product of hard work, determination and learning how to trust myself."
Giolito did his postgame interview while wearing a mask.
"2020 has been a very strange year," he said. "Obviously a lot of weird stuff going on with COVID and the state of the world, so may as well throw this in the mix."