North Fulton native strikes out 4 in first spring training start

Dylan Cease, a graduate of Milton High School, struck out four batters over two innings for the White Sox on Monday.

Dylan Cease, a graduate of Milton High School, struck out four batters over two innings for the White Sox on Monday.

Out in Arizona, a native of north Fulton County hit a small milestone in his pro baseball career on Monday.

In Major League Baseball’s Cactus League — one of MLB’s grounds for spring trainig — Dylan Cease started in his first big-league game. And the Milton High School graduate did pretty well.

Cease, 22, struck out four batters over two innings of work for the Chicago White Sox. After Cease was relieved, the Sox ended the spring training battle in a 9-9 tie with the Oakland A’s.

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A 6-foot-2 right-handed pitcher, Cease was drafted by the Chicago Cubs straight out of high school in 2014. Last summer, the Cubs traded him to the neighboring White Sox in a five-player deal. This spring, the White Sox thought highly enough of Cease to invite him to big league camp.

In two innings of work, Cease — who's pitches can touch 100 mph — fanned A's batters Dustin Fowler, Khris Davis, Matt Olson and Bruce Maxwell on Monday. Cease also walked two batters and allowed one hit.

''It was good, definitely better than the last start,'' Cease told the Chicago Sun-Times. ''I was able to spin stuff and throw it in there for strikes. I can still have better command and get ahead more, so there is stuff to learn from it.''

Cease spent last season playing Single-A ball in the minor leagues. In time split between the South Bend Cubs and the Kannapolis Intimidators, he tallied a 3.28 ERA, 126 strikeouts and 44 walks.

This spring, the former Milton Eagle is working on finding consistency and control with his pitches.

"I'm always working on trying to be as smooth as I can, smooth and athletic," Cease told the Athletic. "The more loose and relaxed you can be with your motion, the easier it's going to come out of your hand."

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Sean Newcomb allowed one run (a homer) in three innings. Ronald Acuna played center field and was 1-for-3. He’s hitting .423. Mike Soroka struck out two in two scoreless innings. Austin Riley hit his second home run and is hitting .222. Catcher Alex Jackson was 1-for-3 and has a .188 average. Rio Ruiz hit his first homer and is batting .172. Matt Wisler fanned two in two scoreless innings. First baseman Carlos Franco had 2 hits, one of them his second homer. The Braves are 6-6.