CHICAGO — Melky Cabrera showed the Chicago White Sox what they are missing.
Cabrera hit a go-ahead, two-run homer against his former team in the eighth inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat the White Sox 5-4 Saturday night to stop a five-game losing streak.
Cabrera, acquired from the White Sox on July 30, homered with one out off Aaron Bummer (1-3) and drove in Lorenzo Cain, who led off the inning with a walk against Chris Beck. Cabrera has an eight-game hitting streak.
“These kind of wins are wins that help you stop the bleeding,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I was sitting there thinking about this group. What do you tell them? They’re not pressing. They’re competing their tails off. All you can tell them is, ‘Hang in there, keep battling, it is going to get better.’ And a win like this does a lot for their spirits.”
Cabrera fell behind 1-2 in the count and homered on the ninth pitch, his third home run since the trade and 16th this season. He extended his hitting streak to eight games.
“I am grateful to Ned for playing me every day,” Cabrera said through a translator.
Scott Alexander (3-3) won after allowing a two-run, two-out single in the seventh to Leury Garcia that put Chicago ahead 4-3.
Joakim Soria pitched a perfect eighth, and Kelvin Herrera worked around a walk in a hitless-but-eventful ninth for his 25th save in 28 chances.
After pinch-runner Tyler Saladino stole second, third baseman Mike Moustakas made a diving stop on Adam Engel’s grounder and threw to first for the final out, ending Chicago’s four-game winning streak.
“I was trying to keep in the infield to make sure a run doesn’t score but I got a pretty good read on the hop so I was able to make a play on it,” Moustakas said. “We know how good we can be and we know we weren’t playing good baseball.”
White Sox starter James Shields struck out a season-high eight in six innings, allowing three runs and seven hits.
Jose Abreu hit a pair of solo home runs against Ian Kennedy, who gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. Abreu became the first White Sox player to reach 20 homers in each of his first four seasons.
“Good pitches, bad pitches, he hits them,” Kennedy said.