SAN FRANCISCO — Dylan Cease was named American League Pitcher of the Month at 2:38 p.m. CT Saturday.
At 3:13 p.m., Giants right fielder LaMonte Wade Jr. led off the first inning against the White Sox right-hander with a homer. Joc Pederson followed with a double.
Welcome to July.
And welcome back to the Cease of old, who got through five innings without allowing a run in the White Sox’ 5-3 victory over the Giants. The result positioned the Sox (37-39) for a possible sweep when they conclude their West Coast road trip Sunday. Lucas Giolito, the last Sox to win Pitcher of the Month honors in May 2019, will start for the Sox.
Cease went 2-1 with an 0.33 ERA, 45 strikeouts and a .192 opponents average over five starts in June. He made five consecutive starts without allowing an earned run from May 29 to June 26, joining Doc White in 1904 as the only starters in Sox history to accomplish that feat.
The victory over the Giants improved Cease to 7-3 and lowered his ERA to 2.51. The major league leading 13.44 strikeouts per nine innings dipped a bit — he fanned four Giants while walking three and allowing four hits. He needed 104 pitches to get through five innings.
Pederson misplayed Gavin Sheets’ liner to left field into a two-run double in the fourth against Giants righty Logan Webb, and Yoan Moncada (2-for-3) added an RBI single. Sheets is hitting .310 (9-for-29) with a homer and four doubles in nine games since getting recalled from Charlotte.
Leury Garcia, the hero in a 1-0 win Friday night, knocked in a run on a ground ball to first baseman Brandon Belt with the bases loaded in the sixth. A second run scored on shortstop Donovan Walton’s errant throw trying to complete a double play.
That made it 5-1, and Tanner Banks, the winning pitcher in relief Friday, pitched two perfect innings in relief of Cease. Joe Kelly, pitching on consecutive days for the first time this season, allowed an RBI double to Darin Ruf in the eighth to make it 5-2.
Kendall Graveman pitched the ninth for his fifth save and second in two nights, but not before allowing a run and getting Mike Yastrzemski on a groundout to end the game. Yastrzemski represented the winning run at the plate.