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 it 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.
Melky Cabrera on the #Royals snapping their losing streak: “We’re trying to look for the first win and then just keep winning from there.” pic.twitter.com/m6hXvSOdxS
— FOX Sports KC (@FSKansasCity) August 13, 2017
Nicky Delmonico singled in the second, becoming the first player to reach base in his first 11 games with the White Sox. He is batting .366 (15 for 41) and has a nine-game hitting streak.
Royals: C Salvador Perez (strained right intercostal muscle) threw from 120 feet for about 10 minutes before the game and could hit off a tee next week. The Royals have lost six of seven since he got hurt and are 4-12 when he doesn’t start.
White Sox: 3B Matt Davidson (bruised wrist) may not be ready to be activated from the 10-day DL when he becomes eligible Tuesday, according to manager Rick Renteria.
Jason Vargas (13-6) starts for the Royals on Sunday against fellow left-hander Derek Holland (6-11) in the finale of the three-game series. Vargas is 1-3 with a 6.94 ERA since the All-Star break. Holland survived seven walks against Houston on Tuesday for his first win since June 13.