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Dylan Cease’s last start was another mixed bag against the Los Angeles Angels. The good news was that he avoided giving up a home run, but Cease only lasted 3.1 innings throwing 88 pitches thanks to five walks and four hits allowed. After a dozen starts, Cease was still staring at a season 6.53 ERA entering tonight’s game against Seattle.
After allowing a leadoff single to Shed Long, Cease navigated through the Mariners lineup first time through with four strikeouts and one walk over three scoreless innings. Avoiding the big inning had been a problem for Cease, so it was an excellent sign to holding the Mariners scoreless, but it required 58 pitches.
The second time through the order Seattle still couldn’t muster a run, but Cease had to work himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning. After walking Kyle Lewis, Cease allowed a single to Daniel Vogelbach and walked his second hitter of the inning in Dee Gordon. That got pitching coach Don Cooper off the bench to visit the rookie hoping to calm him down. Whatever Cooper said worked as Cease struck out Tim Lopes ending the threat.
Cease needed a quick fifth inning as he started that frame with 87 pitches. With one out, Cease hung a curveball to Long who took it out to left field for this third home run of the season giving Seattle a 1-0 lead.
After JP Crawford ground out, and Kyle Seager flew out to center field, Cease’s night ended after five innings. Throwing 106 pitches, Cease allowed three hits but walked three with five strikeouts and the lone home run. His season ERA is now 6.18.
While Cease kept Seattle to just one run over five innings, White Sox hitters had a lot of difficulties figuring out Felix Hernandez. Tim Anderson singled in the first inning but got stuck at first base. Zack Collins hit a double in the second inning, but Adam Engel couldn’t drive him in. In the third inning, Yolmer Sanchez reached on an infield single but was wiped away on Anderson’s double play.
Hernandez was only at 64 pitches while holding the White Sox scoreless through six innings. Which was remarkable since the last start he allowed 11 runs in two innings against the Houston Astros.
The seventh inning is when White Sox hitters started to put together a string of good at-bats against Hernandez. Jose Abreu worked the count full before pulling pitching into left field for a single, and Yoan Moncada followed that up with his 29th double of the season. After Eloy Jimenez grounded out to third not allowing Abreu to score, James McCann, fouled off five pitches in a nine-pitch battle to draw a walk loading the bases for Collins.
Collins hustled his way out of a double play after hitting a grounder to Dee Gordon. Who couldn’t get a quick throw to second base and Crawford’s footwork wasn’t smooth on the transition. That bit of luck allowed Abreu to score and the White Sox tied the game at one run apiece.
Sam Tuivailala came in relief for Hernandez who finished his night pitching seven innings of one-run ball striking out four with just one walk and five hits. It is the first Quality Start for Hernandez since April 24 against San Diego. Tuivailala struck out Daniel Palka, Sanchez, and Anderson in order.
There was an opportunity for the White Sox to take the lead in the ninth inning. Jimenez singled to center with two outs and would advance twice on pitches that Omar Narvaez couldn’t block in the dirt. The go-ahead run just 90 feet away, Anthony Bass didn’t throw a single ball in the strike zone but got James McCann to whiff three times ending the threat.
It was up to Evan Marshall to send the game into extra innings. First out was Gordon grounding out to second base, but Lopes hit his just deep enough in the hole between short and third base in which Anderson could only knock it down. That allowed Lopes to reach on an infield single and would advance to second on Smith’s chopper to first base. The timing was off on the play as Abreu fielded the chopper and his toss to the bag trying to lead Covey didn’t work. Smith reached safely, and the Mariners had Long come up to the plate.
Providing all of Seattle’s run production up to this point, Long hit an infield fly for the second out leaving it up to Marshall figuring out a way to get Crawford out. On a changeup, Crawford hit a sharp grounder to first base that Abreu was able to field cleanly and make the easy out to send the game into extra innings.
Collins would start the 10th inning with his second hit driving a single to right field. Danny Mendick pinch ran for Collins and reached second base on Ryan Cordell’s sacrifice bunt. Unfortunately; Mendick would get stranded as both Palka and Sanchez struck out.
Alex Colome took over on the mound and got Seager to ground out, and struck out Lewis setting the stage against Narvaez. On a 0-1 cutter, Narvaez hit his 21st home run of the season off the pitcher he was traded for giving Seattle the 2-1 victory.