CLEVELAND -- — Chicago starter Dylan Cease left after being struck on the right arm by a comebacker in the sixth inning as the White Sox beat Cleveland 1-0 on Friday night in Indians ace Shane Bieber's return.
The playoff-bound White Sox said Cease has a right triceps contusion and that X-rays were negative. He was sporting a bruise on the upper back portion of his pitching arm following the game after being hit by a one-hopper from Bradley Zimmer.
“I wasn't able to get out of the way,” Cease said. “It feels good now. I don't anticipate on missing any time. I know I want to make at least one more start before the postseason. It could have been a lot worse.”
Bieber retired all nine hitters he faced in his first start for the Indians since June 13. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner missed over three months because of a strained right shoulder, but made it clear during his during his lengthy rehab that he wanted to return this season.
“A lot hard work, a lot of emotion, a lot of ups and downs kind of coming to fruition, but ultimately this was the goal, whether it’s for 12 starts, two starts, one start, it’s to come back and to come back strong and come back healthy,” Bieber said
Luis Robert hit a leadoff home run in the fifth for the White Sox, who clinched the AL Central on Thursday despite dealing with injuries to several key players throughout the season.
Cease (13-7) struck out nine and allowed three hits in 5 1/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 3.95. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the eighth and Liam Hendricks pitched the ninth for his 35th save.
Cease breezed into the sixth but was hit by Zimmer's hard grounder that rolled behind the mound with one out. Cease grabbed his arm and knelt behind the mound.
Chicago manager Tony La Russa, pitching coach Ethan Katz, a team trainer and the White Sox infielders surrounded Cease, who got to his feet and walked on the infield grass.
Cease threw a couple of pitches from the mound to catcher Zack Collins but walked to the dugout after a discussion with La Russa.
“He felt good to throw, but I said, ’You can be upset with me if you want to, but it’s not worth the risk,'” La Russa said.
“My arm was heavy,” Cease said. “I tried to throw the warmup pitches to see if maybe it would relax or one of those things that I could throw through, but it was apparent I wasn't going to be able to finish. It was the right decision.”
Bieber struck out three and threw 34 pitches. Cleveland interim manager DeMarlo Hale said before the game that Bieber would be on a pitch count. He threw 57 pitches in a minor league rehab game Sunday.
Bieber is 7-4 with a 3.17 ERA in 15 starts. He went 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA in 12 starts during the shortened 2020 season. Bieber received a loud ovation when he walked from the bullpen to dugout before the game and another one when he took the mound.
“It felt good to be out there and doing what I love to do,” he said.
Robert homered off Trevor Stephan (3-1), extending his hitting streak to 13 games. The blast came on an 0-2 pitch and cleared the wall in left-center.
Cleveland left-hander Anthony Gose, making his second major league appearance as a pitcher, struck out three in 1 1/3 innings.
Indians shortstop Amed Rosario was activated from the COVID-19 list. He had previously been on the bereavement list and missed additional time because of health and safety protocols.
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Atlanta Braves (88-73, first in the NL East) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56, second in the NL West)