White Sox’ Dylan Cease throws four scoreless innings in second start

“I feel ready,” said the 2021 AL leader in strikeouts per nine innings.

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Dylan Cease talks to reporters after pitching four scoreless innings against the Rangers Wednesday. (Daryl Van Schouwen)

Sox 7, Rangers 0

Cease says he’s ready

After throwing four scoreless innings and approaching 70 pitches, right-hander Dylan Cease confidently declared where he’s at in his preparation for the season, which opens next weekend.

“I feel ready,” Cease said after using all four of his pitches, striking out three, walking one and allowing two hits. In seven innings this spring, Cease has allowed one run with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

Asked if he felt ready physically or in terms of the feel for his pitches, Cease said, “Both, everything. All of it.”

Cease, who led the American League in strikeouts per nine innings last season, said the start was “exactly what we needed at this point in the year.”

Reynaldo Lopez pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

Sox power

Luis Robert (.318) had two hits, including a double to right-center, Seby Zavala homered and Romy Gonzalez and Triple-A Charlotte infielder Zach Remillard hit their second homers. Robert also dropped a routine fly ball for an error.

Countdown to opener

With Opening Day approaching, manager Tony La Russa suggested he would use his main lineup for six of the last seven games, beginning with Wednesday’s game.

“That’s as ready as we can be,” he said.

He plans to spread the DH at-bats around in a mix that would include outfielders Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets, first baseman Jose Abreu and catcher Yasmani Grandal.

“It’s an easy call in terms of we want to mix it up and give it to everybody who needs a half-day off and the fact that [Grandal] adds so much to our lineup when he’s not catching,” La Russa said. “That’s a good landing spot for him.”

On deck

Sox at Reds, Goodyear, 8:05 p.m., Michael Kopech (first appearance) vs. Hunter Greene.

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