The win was only made possible by a Herculean effort on the part of starting pitcher Dylan Cease, who notched a career-high 13 strikeouts en route to his sixth win of the season. Cease’s performance today was nothing short of dominant.
There was only one batter in the Baltimore lineup that was able to get the better of Cease all day. In the third inning, Cease already had six strikeouts under his belt when the newest Oriole, Jonathan Araúz, took one of Cease’s sliders and deposited it into the right-field seats. It would be the only run Cease allowed all afternoon. Outside of that, Cease presented us with a masterpiece, penning a sonnet out of sliders and well-placed fastballs that flirted with triple-digit speeds.
Oh, Dylan, shall we compare thee to a summer’s day?
Cease ended his day with seven innings pitched, allowing four hits, one run, one walk, and those 13 strikeouts. He improves his record to 6-3, and lowered his ERA to 2.53.
For their parts, the gilded arms of the highly-compensated Chicago bullpen came awfully close to letting Cease’s magnificent outing end in a no-decision. In the eighth, Joe Kelly pitched himself into a jam, allowing two runners to get into scoring position before finding the handles on the inning. Kelly’s hold this afternoon brought his lofty ERA down to an admittedly still pretty damn lofty 8.31.
Things got a little dicey in the ninth inning as well, as Kendall Graveman was called on to close out the game with a three-run lead. Helpy Helperton José Abreu made back-to-back errors to begin the inning, which eventually led to another Araúz RBI. Another sacrifice fly brought the Orioles to within one. With the entire team and fanbase holding their collective breaths, Graveman finally struck out Trey Mancini to end the game.
Facing Orioles starter Jordan Lyles was a balm for the White Sox hitters’ souls, and they were able to finally break through for more than three runs. Goatee-havin’ Gavin Sheets started things off with a no-doubter in the second inning.
Rookie second basemen Lenyn Sosa also celebrated his first major league hit, a double down the right-field line.
All in all, this was a good team win for the White Sox, who desperately needed one. Having closed out this homestand, the team heads west to take on the also-struggling, brawling, and Joe Maddon-less Los Angeles Angels.
Today’s scorebook highlights:
- In this house, we celebrate Lenyn Sosa.
- Things got a little too close for my liking in the ninth, but hey, we pulled it off. A win is a win.