KANSAS CITY – On a pitching staff that has dealt with some injuries, he’s been one of the best in an up-and-down start for the White Sox.
Dylan Cease showed why again on Tuesday afternoon as the White Sox started a doubleheader at Kauffman Stadium where he added to his MLB high in strikeouts in another victory in 2022.
The starter fanned nine batters over the course of 5 2/3 innings in which he failed to allow a run while scattering seven hits in a 3-0 win for the visitors over the Royals that gives them a second win in the five-game series. Cease now has a major league-leading 67 strikeouts and, as of early Tuesday evening, which is nine strikeouts ahead of the next-highest total by Rays’ pitcher Shane McClanahan, who has 58.
His performance was an improvement from the one against the Yankees five days before when he got his 11 strikeouts but allowed a season-high six earned runs in a 90-pitch outing at Guaranteed Rate Field. It’s just one of two times that Cease has allowed more than two earned runs in a game.
Tuesday was the second time that the starter hasn’t allowed a run in a start as he did so on May 2nd against the Angels over the course of seven innings. The win against the Royals is also the seventh time this season that Cease has had eight or more strikeouts.
Unlike Monday night, where the White Sox bullpen gave up a three-run lead after a strong start from Johnny Cueto, the relievers held up the advantage after Cease left. Bennett Sousa, Joe Kelly, Jose Ruiz, and Liam Hendriks failed to allow a run over the next 3 1/3 innings while scattering just two hits.
Hendriks picked up his 11th save of the year and the second in as many games.
All of the runs the White Sox would need came in the fifth inning when an AJ Pollock sacrifice fly and Jose Abreu’s two-RBI double put the visitors ahead to stay. Cease made that possible thanks to another strong and strikeout-filled performance in 2022.