It was smiles all around the Chicago White Sox dugout as they romped to a 9-0 win in four innings, after which the game was abruptly called due to a “mercy rule.”
After a brief, commercial-break length pause, a new game was started. The White Sox were trounced by the Oakland A’s in that one, 9-0, in five innings.
But in the delightful beginning to the day, Dylan Cease got his first start of spring training and did not disappoint. He struck out leadoff man Dustin Fowler before allowing a single to Marcus Semien. Jed Lowrie reached on a Tim Anderson error to put runners at the corners, and Cease responded with back-to-back Ks to escape.
In his second inning, Cease kept his luck rolling. He started the frame going ground out-walk-strikeout-walk, with a wild pitch for extra measure to put runners at second and third with two out. But the youngster induced a ground out from Fowler to escape the jam. Cease’s spring scoreless streak now stands at 3 1⁄3 innings.
Offensively, the White Sox jumped on A’s starter Daniel Mengden straight away. Yoan Moncada again led off for the White Sox, and he greeted the pitcher against whom he notched his first major league hit in 2016 with a sharp single today. A Matt Skole ground-rule double put runners on second and third, and Matt Davidson’s ground out plated Moncada. Nicky Delmonico closed out the first frame scoring for the Sox with an RBI double.
Chicago went scoreless in the second inning, but in the third, Moncada resumed his haunting of Mengden, this time with a leadoff walk and stolen base. Anderson walked, and after Skole whiffed, Davidson narrowly missed a three-run homer off the top of the wall in the center, settling for a two-RBI double that knocked Mengden out of the game.
After a 1-2-3 frame from steely Chris Volstad, the White Sox feasted once more, starting with a leadoff triple from Leury Garcia and followed by Seby Zavala sacrificing his body with a HBP. Charlie TIlson tapped an RBI groundout to score Garcia, and a Moncada single, Anderson single, and Skole three-run skolmer to right-center put the game officially out of hand at 9-0.
Joakim Soria was summoned to finish up the game in the fourth, a bit of no-pressure, garbage-time work to erase the memory of his rough spring debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers three days ago. Sanitation work proved the charm, as Soria allowed just one infield hit, in wrapping up the 9-0 win.