CHICAGO (AP) — Dylan Cease had fans on their feet, hoping he would get that final out and complete the no-hitter.
The White Sox’s ace would have loved nothing more than to deliver. Instead, his bid ended just a little short.
Cease came within one out of his first career no-hitter, and the streaking Chicago White Sox pounded the Minnesota Twins 13-0 on Saturday night.
Cease got a huge ovation when he came out to start the ninth. With fans standing, he struck out Caleb Hamilton swinging on a 1-2 slider and retired Gilberto Celestino on a fly to center.
Luis Arraez, who leads the American League with a .318 average, then dumped a line-drive single into right-center on a 1-1 pitch, ending Cease’s bid for Chicago’s third no-hitter in as many years. Lucas Giolito tossed one against Pittsburgh in 2020, and Carlos Rodón did it against Cleveland on April 14, 2021.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing,” Cease said. “But that’s the game.”
After a meeting on the mound, Cease struck out Kyle Garlick to finish his first career nine-inning complete game. He threw a seven-inning shutout against Detroit in 2021.
Teammates lined up outside the dugout and high-fived Cease as he walked off. Fans chanted “Cease! Cease!” during a TV interview and showered him with more cheers as he left.
“It would have meant a lot,” Cease said. “It’s obviously an incredibly difficult feat to achieve. It definitely would have meant a lot.”
Cease said he didn’t feel he had his sharpest stuff in the early going. He didn’t strike out anyone until the fifth inning, but wound up with seven in the game. The right-hander threw 103 pitches, 68 for strikes.
Cease walked Jake Cave in the third and Gilberto Celestino in the sixth for Minnesota’s only other baserunners. Cave was erased when Gary Sanchez bounced into a double play. Celestino was stranded when Cease struck out Arraez.
Catcher Seby Zavala said he started thinking about a no-hitter in the third inning.
“I started counting outs,” he said. “I felt like we had something going on.”
Minnesota’s Gio Urshela said Arraez was just the person to break up the bid.
“Yeah, he’s the perfect guy for that situation if you want to break a no-hitter,” he said. “That was the perfect guy for that.”
WHITE SOX ROLL
Eloy Jiménez, Romy Gonzalez and Elvis Andrus homered as the White Sox rolled to their fourth straight win after losing 10 of 12. The defending AL Central champions moved within two games of division leader Cleveland and one of second-place Minnesota.
“Obviously, this shows how much fight we still have in us,” Cease said.
Jiménez connected for a three-run shot in the first against Tyler Mahle (6-8). Gonzalez added his first career homer in the fourth, a three-run shot off Aaron Sanchez. Elvis Andrus tacked on a grand slam against position player Nick Gordon in the eighth.
Following his memorable drive, Gonzalez had a big grin as he bumped forearms with Josh Harrison after crossing the plate and traded high fives with teammates in the dugout.
Chicago is 4-1 with bench coach Miguel Cairo filling in for ailing manager Tony La Russa. The Hall of Fame skipper is in Arizona tending to an unspecified medical condition.
The Twins lost their third straight after winning five in a row. They also dropped their seventh consecutive road game.
Mahle lasted two innings in his first start since Aug. 17. The right-hander exited because of inflammation in his right shoulder — the same injury that had sidelined him.
The Twins optioned left-hander Jovani Moran to Triple-A St. Paul to make room for Mahle.
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray said he was feeling better, though still experiencing some tightness in his right hamstring after exiting Friday’s start. He is scheduled to pitch Wednesday, when the Twins visit the New York Yankees.
White Sox: Cairo said CF Luis Robert was expected to rejoin the team in time for Sunday’s game after traveling to Florida for the birth of his second child — a boy. Robert has been used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement lately while recovering from a sore left wrist. … Cairo said he hopes RHP Michael Kopech (strained left knee) returns during the team’s seven-game trip to Seattle and Oakland that starts Monday. … Cairo also said 3B Yoán Moncada (strained left hamstring) is just about ready to return. He is eligible to be reinstated from the 10-day injured list on Monday.
The series wraps up with White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (10-8, 5.27 ERA) opposing Minnesota RHP Dylan Bundy (7-6, 4.53 ERA). Giolito is 1-2 with a 7.98 ERA in his past three starts. Bundy has dominated the White Sox, with a career 6-0 record and 3.47 ERA in eight starts and nine appearances. He is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in three starts against them this year.
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