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Cease settles in, wins first start Sox: Cease allowed 3 runs on 4 hits over 5 innings.

It was bumpy at the beginning, smooth and showy through the middle and positively scrapbook-worthy at the end.

Welcome to the show, Dylan Cease.

"Definitely something I'll never forget," he said.

When he does look back -- be it next week or from the rocking chair -- Cease will be OK if memories from the first inning of his first major-league start with the White Sox are a little fuzzy.

"Nerves and anxiety, overexcitement, I don't know what it was," catcher James McCann said.

Whatever the cause, it wasn't pretty.

Pitching against the Tigers in Game 1 of a doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field, Cease was shaky at best in the opening inning.

After retiring Detroit leadoff hitter JaCoby Jones on a fly out and getting Christin Stewart on a groundout, Cease hit 100 mph on the stadium radar gun before walking No. 3 hitter Nicholas Castellanos.

The 23-year-old righty also walked Brandon Dixon and then hit Jeimer Candelario with a pitch to load the bases.

Harold Castro followed with a 2-run single to give Detroit the early lead, but Cease escaped further damage.

He also settled down after throwing 33 pitches in the first inning and emerged with the win as the Sox topped the Tigers 7-5.

"I felt frustrated because I felt like I had just wasted half my pitches for the start," Cease said. "It wasn't something I dwelled on really, it was more of a case of what do we have to do now to get through five?"

With help from McCann, Cease put the big fastball in his back pocket for the most part and went after the Tigers with his curveball, slider and changeup.

"I told him after the first, 'Hey man your stuff is plenty good. If you fill up the zone, you are going to be fine. The only way they beat you is if you beat yourself,'" McCann said. "He was definitely able to get into a groove after that first inning. He didn't have the command of his fastball that you would hope for. Sometimes you have to go away from the game plan to find a way to get through and today that's what we did.

"You have to tip your cap to him for being able to put that breaking ball in there. He settled down and overall threw the ball well and gave us a chance to win. I'm pumped for him to get his first big-league win."

After pitching 5 innings and allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks to go with 6 strikeouts, Cease celebrated with his new teammates and then headed out to the Guaranteed Rate Field lobby to meet and take pictures with family and friends.

"He did a nice job getting himself through what I thought was an outing where he probably had a few butterflies," manager Rick Renteria said. "His fastball command wasn't as good as we wanted it to be. He worked through some high pitch counts, but he pulled out his breaking pitch, his changeup and then when you saw him commanding the fastball, it's pretty nice.

"It got up to 99 (mph). He did a very nice job of settling down and getting through five innings of work."

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Jul 4, 2019
Words:542
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