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He’s our All-Star: Cease stomps Twins, 11-0

White Sox explode for 16 hits behind a stellar performance by the new ace

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Guardians - Game Two
The best non-All-Star pitcher in the joint.
Ron Schwane/Getty Images

You absolutely love to see it.

In the final game of a potentially season-defining road trip, the Chicago White Sox jumped up and down on the first-place Minnesota Twins, shutting them out and sending them packing by a final score of 11-0. With today’s victory, the White Sox have fought their way back to .500 and will enter the All-Star break a game back of second place in the AL Central from the Cleveland Guardians, and just three games behind the division-leading Twins.

I guess it was what you’d call a pretty good day at the office.

The offense came in like a lamb and out like a lion today. Twins starting pitcher Chris Archer was able to hold the Sox to just two hits until the fifth inning, when the floodgates opened, and the runs began pouring in, starting with a two-run single by All-Star Tim Anderson.

The White Sox batted around in order in the seventh inning, scoring six runs on five hits, three of which were home runs, Frank Menechino be damned.

It started with this blast by Yoán Moncada to straightaway center ...

... and was immediately followed by this solo shot from Andrew Vaughn, who gave his team a cute little engine rev as he rounded second base. Vaughn had a terrific day at the dish, going 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs, just a triple short of the cycle.

Josh Harrison added insult to the Twins’ seventh-inning injury with this three-run blast to left field, extending the lead to double digits:

All of this offense was just what the doctor ordered for Dylan Cease, who was fantastic in his seven innings of work. Cease kept the Twins batters silent all afternoon, holding them down to a single hit while striking out 8. In his ninth win of the season, Cease improved his ERA to 2.15 and now leads the league in strikeouts at 150.

(But he’s not an All-Star? OK. Sure. I don’t get it, but, whatever.)

The White Sox were so good today that even the ragtag outfield put on a leather-throwing show. We expect the fireworks from Adam Engel, who has made SportsCenter a few times with his spectacular catches, but today, even Gavin Sheets got in on the action!

This game forces White Sox fans to again ask the same question they’ve asked themselves since the season started — is this the game that turns the season around? Well, foolish or not, I choose to hang on to that glimmer of hope as we enter the second half of the season.

While today’s win was thrilling, the work doesn’t end here for the White Sox. The Good Guys will come out of the break with the opportunity to put some space between themselves and the Guardians in a four-game set. Here’s hoping the break will give them all the rest and stamina needed to make a run for it.