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Royals 5, White Sox 4: Melky Cabrera spoils the spoiler

Ex-Sox hits two-run homer after White Sox rally for first lead of game

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Melky Cabrera killed the White Sox during his first tour with the Royals.

The second one appears to be no different, except the vague feeling that he was supposed to be a friend.

After the White Sox clawed ahead in the bottom of the seventh to take a 4-3 lead, Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Aaron Bummer to regain the lead for Kansas City. A series of strong plate approaches against Kelvin Herrera couldn’t make the game see-saw one more time.

The Royals led 3-2 heading into the seventh, but Ian Kennedy issued a four-pitch walk to Tim Anderson with one out, which is as good a reason as any to make a pitching change. Scott Alexander gave up a double to Omar Narvaez to put runners on second and third, giving the Sox two chances to get the tying run home. Adam Engel couldn’t, as he grounded out to a drawn-in Mike Moustakas. Leury Garcia, on the other hand, covered the outside corner on 2-2 and poked a single to center, scoring both runners and giving the Sox a lead.

Just like a walk started Kennedy’s problems, Chris Beck flirted with the same issue. After pitching a scoreless seventh, he came out to face Lorenzo Cain, but walked him. Up came Eric Hosmer, so Rick Renteria went to the only lefty in his pen, Aaron Bummer. Bummer had just pitched two innings the night before, so this was a test.

Bummer passed the first part by getting Hosmer to hit a chopper to second. Yoan Moncada might’ve had a chance to start a double play, but he tried to make the turn too quickly and almost got no outs from it.

Up came Cabrera, who fell behind 1-2, but battled to a full count over the next five pitches. On the ninth pitch, Bummer left a slider a little too up for how much of the plate it grabbed, and Cabrera shot it over another climbing attempt by Adam Engel for the game-winning two-run homer.

The Sox came within a Moustakas diving stab of tying it up. After Yolmer Sanchez grounded out and Anderson flied out, Narvaez drew a seven-pitch walk from Herrera to keep the game alive. Herrera then fell behind Engel 2-0, which gave pinch-running Tyler Saladino a great count for running, and he stole second easily as Engel swung through a fastball. Herrera went back to a slider, and Engel got around on it, but his grounder was within diving range of Moustakas, who capped off a strong night with a strong throw to end the game.

James Shields started this one, and the first six innings resembled his last start in Boston. It began in demoralizing fashion, as he gave up a first-inning homer, then two more runs in the second. He then settled down to throw a quality start, but terrible White Sox baserunning overshadowed the offense, which could only contribute a Jose Abreu solo shot to the scoreboard.

The Sox ran into two outs in the first inning alone. Moncada reached on a dropped third strike, but was cut down trying to steal, and he kinda pulled up over the last 20 feet. Abreu kept the inning alive with a single, but when Avisail Garcia doubled to left, Abreu blew through Nick Capra’s late-ish stop sign and was thrown out by 20 feet.

Later in the game, Garcia reached on an infield single when Whit Merrifield’s spinning throw sailed on him, but Garcia made an ill-advised attempt to bolt for second when Drew Butera had backed up the play. The result was a third TOOTBLAN, just like Boston. The game finally veered off from that plan when Abreu contributed a second solo shot, giving him 21 on the season.

Bullet points:

*White Sox starters have now thrown four consecutive quality starts.

*Moncada struck out all four times at the plate, was caught stealing and had that bobble.

Record: 45-69 | Box score