Dylan Cease falls one out shy of no-hitter in streaking White Sox’ rout of Twins

In an injury-plagued and mostly disappointing season, Dylan Cease has stood out as a remarkable exception.

Cease rose to the occasion again Saturday night as he came within one out of a no-hitter to vault the surging Sox to a 13-0 victory over the American League Central rival Twins.

After striking out Caleb Hamilton and inducing Gilberto Celestino to fly to center field to start the ninth inning, Cease allowed a clean single to Luis Arraez to right center. But Cease struck out Kyle Garlick to earn the first shutout of his career.

Thanks to Cease, the Sox (67-66) won their fourth consecutive game under acting manager Miguel Cairo.

Cease, 26, didn’t strike out a batter until whiffing Gio Urshela for the final out of the fifth, yet finished with seven strikeouts and two walks. Cease (13-6) entered Saturday’s game leading the majors with 11.63 strikeouts per nine innings.

Cease barely missed throwing the first no-hitter by a Sox pitcher since Carlos Rodon accomplished the feat against Cleveland on April 14, 2021.

Despite Cease’s low strikeout total, he was in control the entire game. Second baseman Romy Gonzalez made a sliding backhand stop to retire Gilberto Celestino for the final out of the third, and Cease reached high to field a grounder up the middle by Urshela for the second out of the eighth.

Most of the 31,655 stopped performing the Wave with two out in the top of the sixth to stand to applaud in anticipation of a Cease strikeout.

They weren’t disappointed, as Cease fooledArraez on a curve for a called third strike. The fans rose again and cheered loudly when Cease retired Jose Miranda on a fly to right to end the seventh, with Cease pumping his fist in approval.

This marked another source of satisfaction to the Sox, who acquired Cease, slugger Eloy Jimenez and two minor leaguers from the Cubs for left-hander Jose Quintana.

The game was never in doubt from the outset, as the Sox started with four consecutive hits, capped by a three-run home run by Jimenez.

Twins starter Tyler Mahle, making his first start since Aug. 17, departed after two innings due to right shoulder inflammation. Gonzalez padded the lead with a three-run homer off Aaron Sanchez in the fourth, and Elvis Andrus capped a six-run eighth with a grand slam off second baseman Nick Gordon.

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