Cease remains lights-out for Barons

White Sox No. 5 prospect fans 11 over five scoreless innings

Dylan Cease has allowed just one run over his last six starts in the Southern League. (Michael Wade/Birmingham Barons)

By Tyler Maun / MiLB.com | August 24, 2018 12:41 AM

It took an extra day to complete and didn't put his name in the final decision, but Dylan Cease's 23rd start of the season was another brilliant entry.

Baseball's No. 44 overall prospect struck out 11 over five innings, one shy of his season high in strikeouts, while allowing just two hits and two walks as Double-A Birmingham beat Jacksonville, 6-0, in Thursday's completion of Wednesday's suspended game.

Video: Birmingham's Cease collects 11th strikeout

Cease wasn't at his most efficient against the Jumbo Shrimp, tossing 60 of 103 pitches for strikes, but the fifth-ranked White Sox prospect was tough to line up for opposing hitters. The righty walked Lewis Brinson to lead off the first inning before punching out the side behind the rehabbing Marlins outfielder. After fanning one in the second, Cease struck out two in the third and worked out of his only trouble spot in the fourth.

Gameday box score

Brian Miller singled to right field with one out and stole second base, moving to third on a throwing error by catcher Zack Collins, the No. 8 White Sox prospect. Facing the only man to reach third against him on the night, Cease buckled down to keep the game scoreless, freezing Brian Schales on strike three and getting pinch-hitter Eric Jagielo swinging for the final out of the inning.

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The 22-year-old whiffed the side in the fifth, working around Rodrigo Vigil's two-out double to left.

"All the hype is real," Birmingham manager Ryan Newman told MiLB.com earlier this month. "The fastball is electric and he has a great deal of control and pitch-ability with his secondary stuff too.

"He's exciting. He's definitely one to watch the rest of the season and throughout his career."

Cease dropped his Southern League ERA to 1.72 in the fifth outing of his last six in which he hasn't allowed an earned run. Over that span, the native of Milton, Georgia, sports a 0.29 ERA, allowing one earned run with 48 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 30 2/3 innings. Opponents are batting .120 against him since July 22.

"His stuff is outstanding and his preparation for each start is outstanding," Newman told MiLB.com. "The mental side of it, the game planning and the execution, have all been great.

"It seems like as the game goes on, he gets stronger. He's one of those workhorses."

Birmingham broke through with three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth. Chicago's No. 9 prospect Luis Alexander Basabe went 3-for-5 with two RBIs to lead the offense.

The Barons finished off the Thursday sweep with a 4-1 win in the nightcap despite a brilliant start from Jumbo Shrimp starter Cody Poteet. Over eight innings, Poteet fanned a career-high 12, allowing one run on two hits in a no-decision.

Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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