CHICAGO – Dylan Cease came within one out of his first career no-hitter, and the streaking Chicago White Sox pounded the Minnesota Twins 13-0 on Saturday night.
Cease got a huge ovation when came out to start the ninth. With fans on their feet, he struck out Caleb Hamilton swinging on a 1-2 slider and retired Gilberto Celestino on a fly to center.
Luis Arraez then dumped a line-drive single into right-center on a 1-1 pitch, ending Cease's bid for Chicago's third no-hitter in as many years. Lucas Giolito tossed one against Pittsburgh in 2020, and Carlos Rodón did it against Cleveland on April 14, 2021.
After a meeting on the mound, Cease struck out Kyle Garlick to finish his first career nine-inning complete game. He threw a seven-inning shutout against Detroit in 2021.
Teammates lined up outside the dugout and high-fived Cease as he walked off. Fans chanted “Cease! Cease!” and he came back out for more cheers.
Cease walked Jake Cave in the third and Gilberto Celestino in the sixth for Minnesota’s only other baserunners. Cave was erased when Gary Sanchez bounced into a double play. Celestino was stranded when Cease struck out Arraez.
Cease had seven strikeouts — none until the fifth inning. He threw 103 pitches, 68 for strikes.
Eloy Jiménez, Romy Gonzalez and Elvis Andrus homered as the White Sox rolled to their fourth straight win after losing 10 of 12. The defending AL Central champions, who came in trailing division leader Cleveland by three games, pulled within one of second-place Minnesota.
Jiménez connected for a three-run shot in the first against Tyler Mahle (6-8). Gonzalez added his first career homer in the fourth, a three-run shot off Aaron Sanchez. Elvis Andrus tacked on a grand slam against position player Nick Gordon in the eighth.
Following his memorable drive, Gonzalez had a big grin as he bumped forearms with Josh Harrison after crossing the plate and traded high fives with teammates in the dugout.
Chicago is 4-1 with bench coach Miguel Cairo filling in for ailing manager Tony La Russa. The Hall of Fame skipper is in Arizona tending to an unspecified medical condition.
The Twins lost their third straight after winning five in a row. They also dropped their seventh consecutive road game.
Mahle lasted two innings in his first start since Aug. 17. The right-hander exited because of inflammation in his right shoulder — the same injury that had sidelined him.
The Twins optioned left-hander Jovani Moran to Triple-A St. Paul to make room for Mahle.
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray said he was feeling better, though still experiencing some tightness in his right hamstring after exiting Friday’s start. He is scheduled to pitch Wednesday, when the Twins visit the New York Yankees.
White Sox: Cairo said CF Luis Robert was expected to rejoin the team in time for Sunday’s game after traveling to Florida for the birth of his second child — a boy. Robert has been used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement lately while recovering from a sore left wrist. ... Cairo said he hopes RHP Michael Kopech (strained left knee) returns during the team’s seven-game trip to Seattle and Oakland that starts Monday. ... Cairo also said 3B Yoán Moncada (strained left hamstring) is just about ready to return. He is eligible to be reinstated from the 10-day injured list on Monday.
The series wraps up with White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (10-8, 5.27 ERA) opposing Minnesota RHP Dylan Bundy (7-6, 4.53 ERA). Giolito is 1-2 with a 7.98 ERA in his past three starts. Bundy has dominated the White Sox, with a career 6-0 record and 3.47 ERA in eight starts and nine appearances. He is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in three starts against them this year.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports