CHICAGO (AP) — Dylan Cease got into trouble over and over again. He also escaped each time.
The young right-hander isn’t a rookie anymore.
Cease showed off his poise while working five shutout innings, and the Chicago White Sox beat Aaron Civale and the Cleveland Indians 2-0 on Friday night.
“With my stuff tonight, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t have gone deeper,” Cease said. “I wasted a lot of pitches, got behind a lot of guys. There’s still a lot of room for improvement. A game like this will not be sustainable, so I do have to be better.”
The 24-year-old Cease walked the leadoff man four times and hit a batter, but he managed to make some big pitches at key moments. He allowed two hits and struck out four.
Cease made his big league debut last July and went 4-7 with a 5.79 ERA in 14 starts. An outing like the one he had against Cleveland might have gone in a different direction last year.
“He looked more comfortable in his own skin,” manager Rick Renteria said.
The Indians went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base, continuing a season-long problem and wasting a terrific start by Civale. They had won three in a row, including a 13-0 victory over Cincinnati on Thursday night.
“One night’s a complete difference,” first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. said. “Yesterday was everybody hitting. Today was a tough night.”
Alomar ran the team while manager Terry Francona missed his sixth straight game because of a gastrointestinal issue he has been dealing with for months. The Indians also played without hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo after he opted out of the 2020 season because of the coronavirus.
Civale (1-2) allowed five hits, struck out five and walked one in seven innings.
“I’m just going out there and competing,” he said. “Each time I go out there is a learning opportunity, whether it’s a good result, bad result, no matter what. If I’m not learning in that start, it’s a wasted start.”
The White Sox got their first run in the first. Luis Robert walked, advanced to third on Yoán Moncada’s single to right and scored when José Abreu bounced into a double play.
Adam Engel made it 2-0 when he connected for a solo drive on Nick Wittgren’s first pitch of the eighth. It was Engel’s homer second of the season.
After Cease (2-1) departed, Aaron Bummer and Evan Marshall combined for three innings before Alex Colomé finished the four-hitter for his fourth save.
The White Sox won for the seventh time in nine games, bouncing back nicely after a pair of losses to the Brewers.
“Pitching and defense is one of the most fun ways to play baseball and obviously, once you put runs behind that you win a lot of games,” Engel said.
Bummer departed after throwing a pitch to José Ramírez in the seventh. The team said he was experiencing left biceps soreness and will be re-evaluated Saturday.
The Indians loaded the bases with no outs in the second and came away with nothing. Oscar Mercado struck out swinging before Sandy León bounced into a double play.
Cease got some help from his defense in the third. James McCann cut down Delino DeShields attempting to steal second for the first out of the inning. Second baseman Danny Mendick then robbed César Hernández with a diving stop.
Cleveland loaded the bases again with two out in the fifth, but Cease got Ramírez to bounce to second on his 99th pitch. Ramírez went 0 for 4 and left six runners on base after he homered from both sides of the plate during Cleveland’s victory Thursday night.
The finale of the three-game series was moved to Sunday night after the Cubs-Cardinals series was postponed because two more Cardinals players and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. It’s the first Sunday night game for the White Sox on ESPN since May 12, 2013, against the Angels.
Indians: OF Tyler Naquin (toe fracture) has been playing in simulated games at the team’s alternate site in Lake County and is getting close to returning. He is further along than C Roberto Perez (shoulder), who last threw on Wednesday.
White Sox: C Yasmani Grandal (left foot irritation) and RF Nomar Mazara (left foot) got the day off. “Expect them both to be back going tomorrow,” Renteria said. … SS Tim Anderson (strained right groin) is expected to work out with the team Sunday and could be activated during next week’s three-game series at Detroit. … DH Edwin Encarnación (inflammation near his left shoulder) took some dry swings and could go through batting practice Saturday.
Indians right-hander Zach Plesac (0-1, 1.80 ERA) makes his third start of the season Saturday. He faced Chicago on July 29 and struck out 11 in eight scoreless innings, but he got a no-decision in Cleveland’s 4-0 loss. Matt Foster (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first career start for the White Sox.
(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)