Chicago White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease will try for a repeat performance when he takes the mound against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday in the middle game of their three-game series in Boston.
Cease (3-1, 2.48 ERA) threw seven shutout innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. He allowed just one hit, struck out 11 and didn’t walk a batter in Chicago’s 3-0 victory.
Cease, 26, said it was the best performance of his four-year major-league career. Among the highlights, he struck out three-time AL MVP Mike Trout three times.
“He’s embracing the pressure, which is really a great sign of what he can do for this organization, this year and in the future,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said of Cease.
Two days before Cease blanked Los Angeles, White Sox right-hander Vince Velasquez threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Angels in Chicago’s 4-0 win.
Velasquez took the mound for the first time since that outing on Friday and still had command of his pitches, allowing one run and three hits in five innings of a 4-2 win against the Red Sox.
It marked the second four-game winning streak of the season for Chicago, which can climb back to .500 with a win on Saturday.
Boston, meanwhile, has lost three in a row and five of six to drop into last place in the American League East.
The Red Sox are seven games below .500.
“We’ve got to slow down the game,” manager Alex Cora said after Friday’s loss. “There’s a lot of people frustrated.”
Boston is scheduled to send right-hander Nick Pivetta to the mound to try to end the skid.
Pivetta (0-4, 7.84) is coming off another disappointing start. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, allowing three runs and six hits in a 9-5 loss.
After throwing 5 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees in his first start, on April 9, Pivetta hasn’t lasted at least five innings in any of his past four outings.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said after his latest start. “Just got to keep going through it.”
Pivetta has made four appearances against the White Sox, including two starts, and is 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings. He faced off against Cease early last season in Boston, and neither pitcher factored in the decision in the Red Sox’s 7-4 win.
Cease has made two starts in his career against the Red Sox, both last season, and is 0-0 with an 11.05 ERA in 7 1/3 innings. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings against Boston on Sept. 11 in Chicago, allowing seven earned runs and four hits.
The Red Sox placed left-handed pitcher Rich Hill and outfielder Enrique Hernandez on the COVID-19 injured list on Friday. They recalled center fielder Jarren Duran and right-handed pitcher John Schreiber from Triple-A Worcester.
Duran batted leadoff on Friday and tripled to start the eighth inning before scoring on a groundout by Trevor Story to cut Chicago’s lead to 4-2.
Schreiber threw 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief.
–Field Level Media