CHICAGO -- Zach Duke raised his hands in the air in celebration. The excited White Sox crowd followed with a standing ovation. And with one leaping outstretched grab to end the top of the eighth inning, Melky Cabrera saved at least a run for the White Sox.
In reality, Cabrera might have saved the White Sox 5-3 victory and their Sunday sweep of the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field.
"It was a very good play," said Cabrera through interpreter and White Sox Spanish language broadcaster Billy Russo. "D-Bo [first-base coach Daryl Boston] told me, 'Play deep. Play deep.' I didn't see the replay yet, but the people said that probably could be a home run. I feel good because I made that catch and when you can help the team in any aspect, it's good."
With Alcides Escobar on second and two outs, Eric Hosmer drove a pitch to left off of Duke that looked like it had a chance to get out and tie the game. Cabrera located the ball and leaped with his glove behind his head to snag the baseball.
He smiled when asked about the catch looking a bit awkward through that no-look effort. Cabrera added that catching the ball was the only thing that mattered.
"I love his reactions to things, that's what got me," said White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton of Cabrera's catch. "Both hands went up in the air. He celebrated himself which is great, as we did as well. But he's a heck of a competitor, he wants to get the job done, he works hard to get the job done and he's the ultimate professional."
"Awesome. Saved me, you know," Duke said. "It was such a big spot right there to make that catch. It's just a game saver."
Cabrera's catch followed an amazing grab by Alex Gordon to start the sixth, when he jumped into the stands on the run to catch Micah Johnson's foul popup. The White Sox went on to score five runs in that frame.
"He's the best left fielder in the game, in the American League," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Gordon. "I don't see much of the National League, but he plays a great left field."
Two White Sox victories and two spectacular catches for the price of one Sunday.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.