Offensive outburst a reminder of lineup's potency
White Sox launch four homers in rout of Indians on Thursday
CLEVELAND -- Remember all those years the White Sox were considered too home run reliant as an offense? After hitting a season-high four as a team in an 8-1 victory over the Indians on Thursday at Progressive Field, the South Siders would long for that problem once again.
"Sometimes you wish you could get to that point," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of his team's long ball uprising against Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer and reliever Kyle Crockett. "For us, it was just a good night of guys getting on base, guys attacking hitter's counts, and they were hitting it hard. It was great."
Melky Cabrera homered leading off the fourth for the game's first run. That blast came as a left-handed hitter against Bauer. He added another home run in the seventh, giving him six for the season, from the right side against Crockett.
Cabrera has four career multi-homer games and three games where he has homered from both sides of the plate.
"I've been working hard the whole year on both sides of the plate," said Cabrera, through interpreter and White Sox Spanish language broadcaster Billy Russo. "It's a routine that I have in BP and the cage, always keep the same amount of at-bats in both sides. That's the thing that will give you consistency that will prove in the game and get the results in the game."
Adam Eaton increased his career-high to eight with a homer in the fifth, and Alexei Ramirez capped off a four-run fourth started by Cabrera with a three-run shot. Ramirez, who could be a trade target in the upcoming week approaching the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, also made a tremendous defensive play at shortstop in the fourth to take away a hit from David Murphy.
But for a team that entered the night ranked 28th in baseball with 66 homers, this victory was a rare one centered upon the offense. With Jeff Samardzija allowing one run over eight innings, it pretty much represented the blueprint as to how this 2015 season was supposed to work.
"I tip my hat to the offense and defense today," Samardzija said. "I was just out there throwing the ball over the plate and letting them work behind me. Alexei had a great play, a couple of great plays in the outfield, and you get a cushion like they gave me early and you can relax."