PEORIA, Ariz. Right-hander Dylan Cease, the high-end pitching prospect packaged with Eloy Jimenez in the Jose Quintana trade, pitched three more scoreless innings, striking out four and allowing one hit, in the White Sox’ 4-2 Cactus League victory Monday night against the Mariners.
In what may have been his last start before heading to minor-league camp, the 22-year-old breezed through a 1-2-3 first inning striking out Dee Gordon with a sharp curve, retiring 44-year-old Ichiro Suzuki on a grounder to first and throwing a 98-mph heater past Jean Segura. Cease threw fewer breaking balls in this outing than his first two, and while he had fastball command issues in the third inning – he walked Gordon Beckham on four pitches and worked from behind to every hitter – he got through it unscathed.
In three games covering 6 1/3 innings, Cease has impressed by racking up nine strikeouts while allowing three hits and three walks. He has not allowed a run.
“I’ll be leaving the camp feeling good about what I have to work on to keep progressing,’’ he said.
Matt Davidson, Cactus League RBI king
Matt Davidson, playing third base, collected his Cactus League leading 16th RBI in the first inning with a double off the right field wall against left-hander Marco Gonzales, scoring Avisail Garcia from second. For Davidson, who also singled, a hot spring continues. The double gave him seven extra-base hits (three doubles, three homers, triple) and he is batting .375.
An Adam bomb
Center fielder Adam Engel hit Gonzales’ first pitch for a homer, and he homered in the ninth. Engel, who batted .166 last season, has four homers this spring. He also lined out hard and struck out twice, putting his spring average at .276.
Catcher Zack Collins, the Sox’ first-round 2016 draft pick, hit his first spring homer. Eloy Jimenez singled to center, walked on five pitches, struck out and grounded out.
Off day. James Shields and Michael Kopech will pitch on the backfields at Camelback Ranch.