Dylan Cease came within one out of his first career no-hitter, and the Chicago White Sox crushed the Minnesota Twins 13-0.
Cease received a huge ovation from the home crowd to start the ninth. Fans were on their feet hoping he would record the final three outs unscathed and complete the no-hitter. He struck out Caleb Hamilton swinging on a 1-2 slider and retired Gilberto Celestino on a flyout.
The White Sox' ace would have loved nothing more than to deliver, but Luis Arraez lined a single to center to end the bid. It would have been the third Sox' no-hitter in as many years. Lucas Giolito threw one against Pittsburgh in 2020, and Carlos Rodon accomplished the feat last year against Cleveland.
Ethan Katz held a meeting on the mound before Cease struck out Kyle Garlick to cap his first nine-inning complete game.
"Obviously, it's disappointing," Cease said. "But that's the game."
"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 walked Jake Cave in the third and Celestino in the sixth for Minnesota's other baserunners before the ninth.
Eloy Jimenez, Romy Gonzalez, and Elvis Andrus homered as the White Sox cruised to their fourth straight win. Chicago 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.
Jimenez connected for a three-run blast in the first against Tyler Mahle. Gonzalez added his first career homer in the fourth, a three-run shot off Aaron Sanchez. Andrus tacked on a grand slam against position player Nick Gordon in the eighth.
Mahle lasted only two innings in his first start since returning from the injured list. He exited with right shoulder inflammation, the same injury that sidelined him. The Twins dropped their seventh consecutive road game.
The South Siders are now 4-1 with bench coach Miguel Cairo filling in for ailing manager Tony La Russa. The 77-year-old skipper is tending to an unspecified medical condition.
"It's been a total shift of energy," second baseman Romy Gonzalez said of the momentum swing this week. "We're coming in here, and we're excited. We're excited to play and compete and play our best brand of baseball, and we showed that [Saturday]."
News and Notes
Cairo said Luis Robert is expected to rejoin the team in time for Sunday’s game. The centerfielder was in Florida attending the birth of his second child – a boy.
The White Sox hope to get Michael Kopech back from the IL (strained left knee) for the team’s seven-game road trip to Seattle and Oakland.
Yoan Moncada is nearing a return to action. He is eligible to be reinstated from the 10-day IL on Monday.
What’s On Tap Next?
The weekend series wraps up Sunday as Lucas Giolito takes the mound for the Chicago White Sox against Dylan Bundy of the Minnesota Twins. Bundy is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in three starts against the White Sox this year. The game will air on NBC Sports Chicago and Sox On Tap will have the postgame show.
Tune in to the Sox On Tap podcast for postgame reaction and further White Sox commentary all season.