Dylan Cease
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Chicago White Sox ace right-hander Dylan Cease was one out away from history Saturday night. Cease lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning against the AL Central rival Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field. Luis Arraez, the American League's leading hitter with a .318 average, broke it up with a clean single to right. Chicago won the game 13-0. 

Arraez's broke up the no-hitter on Cease's 99th pitch. Cease threw 103 pitches in the one-hit shutout. He struck out seven and walked two. Here's the history-ruining hit:

According to Statcast, Cease allowed only three batted balls with better than a 50/50 chance of going for a hit based on the launch angle and exit velocity, one of which was Arraez's single. Many no-hitters feature a great defensive play or two to save the no-hitter, but Cease was dominant and did not need his defense to be spectacular behind him.

Cease is the second pitcher to lose a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth this season. St. Louis Cardinals righty Miles Mikolas fell one out short against the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 14. Pirates rookie Cal Mitchell doubled to center field to ruin history that night.

There have been three no-hitters in baseball this season. The New York Mets threw a five-pitcher combined no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 29, Los Angeles Angels lefty Reid Detmers no-hit the Tampa Bay Rays on May 10, and the Houston Astros threw a three-pitcher combined no-hitter against the New York Yankees on June 25.

The no-hitter would have been the 21st in White Sox history. Chicago has thrown a no-hitter each of the last two seasons. Carlos Rodón no-hit Cleveland on April 14, 2021, and Lucas Giolito no-hit the Pirates on Aug. 25, 2020. The Twins were last no-hit by Jered Weaver of the Angels on May 2, 2012.

Chicago's offense gave Cease plenty of breathing room early. Eloy Jiménez slugged a three-run homer in the first inning and rookie second baseman Romy Gonzalez hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, the first homer of his career. The White Sox really broke the game open against position player pitcher Nick Gordon in the ninth.

Because of the early deficit, the Twins pulled some of their regulars to give them rest. Shortstop Carlos Correa and right fielder Max Kepler were removed in the fifth inning, and their replacements -- Jermaine Palacios and Kyle Garlick -- went a combined 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. Catcher Gary Sánchez was removed in the seventh as well.

Cease joined the White Sox along with Jiménez (and others) in the José Quintana trade with the Chicago Cubs on July 13, 2017. He is now 13-6 with a 2.13 ERA this season, and his 197 strikeouts are the second most in baseball. Only Yankees ace Gerrit Cole has more. He has 204. Cease is very much in the AL Cy Young mix.

More important than an individual accomplishment like a no-hitter is the postseason race. The White Sox have won four straight games to climb within 2 1/5 games of the Cleveland Guardians in the AL Central. They are 5 1/2 games behind the third and final American League wild-card spot.