Sixth inning rally isn't enough for White Sox as bullpen can't hold lead
By Scott Chasen
KANSAS CITY -- White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera came to the plate in the sixth inning with the bases loaded. After going 0-for-2 in his first two plate appearances, Cabrera said he was waiting for a mistake from Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, who came into the sixth with a perfect game bid.
Cabrera got that mistake, which he called lucky after the game, as Duffy left a slider up on the first pitch of the at-bat. Cabrera knocked it over the wall for a grand slam, although the White Sox would go on to a 7-5 loss at Kauffman Stadium.
"He had full control of the strike zone. He was commanding all his pitches," Cabrera said through translator Billy Russo. "That made him very tough today, but when he made a mistake, we can get to him."
The homer, which traveled 407 feet from the plate, according to Statcast™, gave the White Sox their first lead of the game, and was the third grand slam of Cabrera's career. His last was on July 29, 2011, when he was a member of the Royals. It was also the fourth of five consecutive hits the White Sox notched against Duffy before he exited the game.
"He was throwing changeups, curve balls, everything," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
The White Sox quickly added to the lead, as third baseman Todd Frazier followed with a solo shot over the left-field wall, just a few feet away from where Cabrera had just homered, and gave the White Sox a 5-1 lead.
"You keep saying the same stuff over and over and it finally clicks. It's nice to see," Frazier said. "We're aggressive. We're an aggressive team. We go after pitches. We've just got to square them up."
The White Sox offense in the loss was a contrast from the previous nine games, where the club scored more than three runs just once. However, Cabrera said that it was more important to move on rather than reflect on the good that came in the productive sixth.
"Once we took the lead, our pitchers weren't able to stop them." Cabrera said. "Obviously it's a tough loss, but you have to turn the page and keep going."
Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.