BY TONI GINNETTI
For the Sun-Times
Melky Cabrera went 2-for-4 with an RBI on Sunday, giving him at least one RBI in 12 of his last 13 games. He’s hitting .500 (23-for-46) in the last 11 games with 16 RBI.
The former Yankee also made a diving catch in left field to end the sixth inning.
‘‘He’s a great player, but he’s a better teammate,’’ Jose Abreu said. ‘‘He’s always trying to find a way to keep the atmosphere loose and to keep everybody happy. His influence has been huge for us.
‘‘In the beginning, he was trying to get to know everybody here, but it’s like everything in life. Your first steps, you’re trying to get involved and know each guy, but now he’s one of us.
‘‘He’s a leader because of his performance, his personality and because of how he is.’’
The White Sox were outscored 27-17 in the three-game series against the Yankees, who host the Sox for four games in September on the Sox’ last road trip of the season.
Only John Danks (one run in his 5⅔ innings Saturday) was able to hold the Yankees.
‘‘There are going to be periods when that happens,’’ manager Robin Ventura said of the weekend pitching and hitting woes. ‘‘This [Yankees] lineup can do it to you. If you aren’t sharp and on top of it, you’re going to pay for it. And we did.’’
Another big bat
Abreu extended his hitting streak to 13 games, during which he has hit .367 (18-for-49) with four home runs and 16 RBI.
‘‘We’re a team, and we’re all hitting the ball very well now,’’ he said. ‘‘You feel good with the performance of each player, and that gives you energy. It gives you confidence and helps you do well. You want to do as well as everyone. That’s a key for a team. That’s how a team is supposed to feel.
‘‘My wish is that we can carry this momentum to the end of the season.’’
The Rays come to town next as a sub-.500 team (52-54), but they have dominated the Sox, sweeping a three-game series in June at Tropicana Field.
They’re 13-11 against the Sox since 2012, including a 6-6 record at U.S. Cellular Field.
Reliever Scott Carroll, who gave up three runs and three hits in 41⁄3 innings, was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte after the game. The Sox will recall a position player Monday.
The three-game series drew 103,578, and the game Sunday was a sellout at 38,840. It was the Sox’ third sellout of the season.