Cabrera homers to send Royals past White Sox
CHICAGO — Melky Cabrera harbors no hard feelings toward the Chicago White Sox for dealing him to the Kansas City Royals before the trade deadline.
However, Cabrera did not mind hitting a go-ahead home run to help beat his former team.
“I’ve got a lot of friends over there,” Cabrera said through an interpreter. “I liked it there. But I’m here with Kansas City now, and I’m trying to help this club win.”
Cabrera’s two-run home run in the eighth inning keyed the Royals’ 5-4 win on Saturday night. Eric Hosmer also homered as Kansas City (58-58) snapped a five-game losing streak.
Kansas City manager Ned Yost enjoyed the celebratory rap music playing in the locker room as he conducted a postgame interview in his office.
“These kind of wins are the wins that help you stop the bleeding,” Yost said. “We have been struggling, and you get a great pitching performance by your starter. ... It was huge to answer back.”
Jose Abreu hit a pair of solo home runs to lead the White Sox at the plate. Leury Garcia drove in two more runs for Chicago (45-69), which had its four-game winning streak come to an end.
Cabrera stung his former team to erase a 4-3 deficit in the eighth. He lifted a low pitch to the opposite field for his 16th home run of the season and his third since Kansas City acquired him from Chicago.
“(The pitch) ended up staying out over the plate,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He put a good swing on it. Melky does what he sometimes does — he drove it out of the ballpark.”
Royals left-hander Scott Alexander (3-3) earned the win in relief. He replaced right-hander Ian Kennedy, who allowed three runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
The White Sox’s comeback attempt fell short in the ninth as Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas made a diving stop on a ground ball by Adam Engel that could have tied the game. Moustakas climbed to his feet and fired a strike to first base for the final out.
“I knew I had to be ready,” Moustakas said. “I got a pretty good read on the hop, so I was able to get there and make a play on it.”
White Sox left-hander Aaron Bummer (1-3) took the loss out of the bullpen after allowing Cabrera’s home run.
The bullpen loss negated a solid outing by White Sox right-hander James Shields, who gave up three runs in six innings. He walked one and struck out eight, which marked a season high.
“It was nice to get some swings and misses today, get some strikeouts when I needed it” Shields said.
Right-hander Kelvin Herrera pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 25th save for the Royals.
Abreu pulled the White Sox within 3-2 in the sixth inning when he belted his second home run of the game and his 21st of the year. The 410-foot shot over the left-field wall gave him nine career multi-homer games.
Garcia gave Chicago a 4-3 lead with a two-out, two-run single in the seventh. His line drive up the middle scored Tim Anderson and Omar Narvaez, who slid just in front of an attempted tag by catcher Drew Butera.
The Royals grabbed an early lead on Hosmer’s solo home run into the left-field bleachers in the first inning. The blast marked Hosmer’s 19th home run and his third in the past seven games.
Kansas City added two more runs in the second to increase its advantage to 3-0. Alcides Escobar ripped a triple to the wall in right-center field, which scored Mike Moustakas. Three batters later, Whit Merrifield singled to center field to push Escobar across the plate.
Chicago trimmed the deficit to 3-1 in the fourth on Abreu’s 20th home run. Abreu became the first player in White Sox history to hit 20-plus homers in each of his first four seasons.
“He continues to impress by the way he goes about doing his business,” Renteria said. “He’s a really good example to everybody about staying the course, working hard.”
NOTES: White Sox OF Avisail Garcia returned to the starting lineup Saturday after receiving a day off because his legs were tired. He went 2-for-3. ... Royals C Salvador Perez (strained intercostal muscle) played catch Saturday and might try to take some swings next week as he nears a return. Perez has been out since Aug. 5 ... White Sox DH Matt Davidson (bruised right wrist) will remain on the 10-day disabled list for an indefinite period after experiencing a setback. Davidson was injured Aug. 1 when he was hit by a pitch from Toronto Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman. ... Royals OF Melky Cabrera extended his hit streak to eight games.