SEATTLE -- Melky Cabrera dropped by at the right time on Friday night.
The veteran hitter’s two-out, two-strike RBI double in the 10th inning helped the White Sox snap a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners in front of 32,371 at Safeco Field. The hit lifted the White Sox when they needed it most as they finally claimed victory after a series of losses where they rallied but couldn’t quite get over the hump.
Cabrera doubled off Seattle reliever Tony Zych to deep right to help the White Sox win for only the third time in 13 games. It also helped avoid the disappointment of losing another Jose Quintana gem. Quintana delivered eight outstanding innings as he and David Robertson combined on a one-hitter.
“Huge,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Melky’s been wanting to contribute. He’s done it couple of times in the last week or so, at home and then today. But big for him and big for all of us.
“(The win) picks you up. There’s no doubt. We’ve had a couple of back-to-back tough losses, extra innings. That one today was big for us to be able to pick up, to not waste Q’s outing.”
Marred in a 9-for-50 spell over his last 12-plus games, Cabrera looked as if he was in for another 0-fer. With pinch-runner Leury Garcia on third, Cabrera fell behind Zych 0-2 in the count after missing two fastballs. But Zych threw a slider and Cabrera ripped into the corner to put the White Sox ahead for good.
“I think that the way that Ricky is keeping us motivated, pushing us everyday is important for us too,” Cabrera said through an interpreter. “That's one of the things that keeps us trying to get our best everyday. I know it's not always easy, but we always try to do our best and try to win games.”
Robertson made it look extremely easy. Not only did he pitch a perfect ninth inning, he delivered one in the 10th, too. He retired six batters on 24 pitches to secure the victory.
“Ricky told me if we got another run I was going out there so,” Robertson said. “I was ready for it.
“We’ve been right on the cusp of winning these ballgames. We just hadn’t put one together. It was nice tonight to actually get it done.”
Quintana looked like the Quintana of old on Friday.
Unfortunately for Quintana, so did the White Sox offense.
Despite limiting the Seattle to one run and one hit, Quintana was saddled with the 61st no decision of his career. He struck out seven and did his best to match Ariel Miranda, who tied a career high with nine strikeouts.
Jose Abreu ended Miranda’s shutout bid with two outs and tied the score at 1 in the sixth inning with a 464-foot home run into the upper deck in left. Abreu finished 3-for-5.
Robertson took over and pitched a scoreless ninth.
That setup Cabrera, who delivered a much-needed victory. It was a big moment for the free-agent-to-be, who had a .196/.224/.283 slash line with two extra-base hits and eight RBIs in his previous dozen games.
“I just always try to do my best, try to help the team to win games, doing the little things,” Cabrera said. “I'm glad for the confidence Ricky has given me. That's important because that keeps my confidence level high. I know he has confidence in me, I have confidence in myself and that's all what matters.”