Melky spearheads White Sox winning ways
BOSTON -- White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera stands as a pretty solid representation of the team's 2015 season.
By the end of June, many people thought neither Cabrera nor the White Sox had a chance to come near their lofty preseason expectations. By the end of July, there aren't enough superlatives to cover the work of either side as the White Sox winning streak extended to seven games with a 9-2 victory vs. the Red Sox on Wednesday -- and Cabrera continued to knock the ball all over Fenway Park.
"In a lot of ways, it seems like the team was left for dead a week ago," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Now it has some life and playing good baseball, so you don't know what's going to happen."
"It's just the moment that we are passing through now. Everybody is hitting well and the team is playing well," said Cabrera, through interpreter and White Sox Spanish language broadcaster Billy Russo. "I haven't changed anything. I think it's just the moment."
The moment has extended throughout the month of July for Cabrera, and especially during this seven-game run away from home. He had three more hits and drove in one in the third game of this series, meaning Cabrera has multihit efforts in seven straight games and has driven in at least one run in each of the seven as well. He's the first White Sox player to achieve such a combination feat and the first with seven consecutive multihit performances since Magglio Ordonez from July 22-30, 2003.
Six of Cabrera's nine hits in the Red Sox series have gone for extra bases, and he has 17 hits in his last 33 at-bats overall. Cabrera spearheads an attack that has helped the White Sox win 11 of their last 12 on the road, move to 49-50 overall and within 2 1/2 games of the American League's second Wild Card spot.
Those wins and losses are the only ones that matter to the veteran who joined the White Sox via a three-year, $42 million free agent deal this past offseason.
"I like to win. In the bad moments, I don't even think about the bad moments," Cabrera said. "I just keep working hard and keep trying to push the guys in the right direction. And that's it."
Cabrera even provided a moment of levity Wednesday, when television cameras shot him leaning into the Green Monster during a break in the action. He laughed and explained that the people in the Monster were offering him water during a steamy night and didn't know he was being recorded.
Water might be the only way to cool down Cabrera and the White Sox at this point.
"Don't touch that guy, he will burn you. He's extremely hot right now," said a smiling White Sox leadoff man Adam Eaton, who homered among his three hits Wednesday. "He's a true professional at the plate and goes up with a great approach, and all of a sudden it starts going his way. Shows how good of a hitter he is."
"Yeah, he's hitting everything hard," Ventura said. "Anything in the zone he's taking pretty good hacks at and he's always in the middle of everything we're doing."