CINCINNATI (AP) — White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease hadn’t faced live pitching since his senior year in high school, then he went out and swung the bat like a Hall of Famer on Tuesday night.
Cease threw one-hit ball for six innings, struck out 11 and amazingly got three hits in his first pro plate appearances as Chicago routed the Cincinnati Reds 9-0.
“I believe in myself as a hitter, to be honest,” Cease said. “But I didn’t expect to go out and do that.”
Will wonders never Cease?
It was a historic night with the bat for Cease, who doubled and singled twice before getting pulled for a pinch-hitter.
“There wasn’t anything beyond his talent today,” manager Tony La Russa said. “He jumped a fastball all three times.”
Cease is the first American League pitcher since Jarrod Washburn in 2001 to have a three-hit game. He is the first White Sox pitcher with three hits in a game since Tom Bradley on May 14, 1972, against Baltimore, a year before the designated hitter came into play.
“Three hits, that’s tough to do in the big leagues,” teammate Tim Anderson said. “He made it look easy.”
Cease (2-0) became the second White Sox pitcher to have three or more hits and 10 or more strikeouts in a game, joining Red Faber on April 15, 1915, at St. Louis. Cease also tied his career for strikeouts.
After the first pitch was delayed more than an hour by rain, the White Sox roughed up Jeff Hoffman (2-2) for three runs in the first.
Abreu, who had two hits in his previous 19 at-bats, hit his sixth homer of the season. Abreu had a pair of hits and three RBIs as the White Sox for the eighth time in 11 games.
“We had a lot of disciplined at-bats today,” La Russa said. “Everybody got themselves ready, not making excuses about who’s missing.”