PEORIA, Ariz. — Dylan Cease struck out five and walked one in three innings of one-run ball in his first Cactus League start against the Mariners Friday night, an impressive little line score.
But Cease, who led the American League in strikeouts per nine innings last season, said it was nothing special.
“It was an OK first outing,” Cease said. “Nothing super special and it wasn’t horrible. Pretty good.”
Cease, allowed one hit, a liner in the gap that center fielder Yoelqui Cespedes laid out for but couldn’t hold on to, and got two ground-ball outs.
“When I’m on, I’ve got an opportunity to strike guys out,” Cease said. “It was solid today, but the walk to [Clint] Frazier was pretty upsetting and there were a couple of at-bats where I thought I kind of made some poor pitches later in the at-bat.”
Cease touched 98 mph on the stadium gun.
“I definitely like strikeouts,” Cease said.” Ideally, it’s a quick inning of strikeouts. Pretty much trying to fill up the zone and usually if I fill up the zone, I have a good chance of striking people out.”
The Sox were limited to three hits in a 3-0 loss, two of them singles by Andrew Vaughn. One of Vaughn’s hits was a 112 mph liner that skipped past center fielder Julio Rodriguez for a two-base error. Vaughn is 7 for 14 this spring.
Cespedes threw out Luis Torrens at third base, the second time this spring he has thrown out a runner at third. This time, he threw a strike on the fly to third baseman Jake Burger to get Torrens, who tried to advance on Mike Ford’s fly ball.