Melky Cabrera arrived to the ballpark Sunday morning to see his name in the leadoff spot.
A few hours later, Cabrera was no longer in the lineup – and no longer on the team. The White Sox traded the veteran outfielder to the Royals for pitching prospects A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis.
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this because I love the city, I love the team, but at the same time, you’re seeing what’s happening around the team with all the moves,” Cabrera said. “[You] try to block out all those things, but I knew it was a possibility. … It’s a sad day for me.”
The Sox regrouped with a 3-1 win victory against the Indians thanks to a walk-off home run by Matt Davidson. The two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth inning was Davidson’s first career walk-off home run and the first for the Sox since July 8, 2015, when Adam Eaton went deep to beat the Blue Jays.
Teammates mobbed Davidson at the plate and continued the celebration in front of the Sox’ dugout. The Sox (40-62) snapped a five-game losing streak and won for the second time in the last 16 games. They won at home for the first time since July 2, ending a nine-game skid.
“We needed it really bad,” said Davidson, who leads the team with 21 home runs. “We’re working hard, but it’s been a tough go. That’s why these things probably mean more than just a normal win. We’re all excited, and we want to keep it going.”
They will try to do so without Cabrera, who hit .295 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI in 98 games during his third season in Chicago. The Sox will pay a portion of the remaining salary for Cabrera, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old was popular among teammates and fans for his enthusiasm.
“He was a class teammate,” Jose Abreu said. “He was a great player, too. You’re going to miss that.
“We all understand that this is part of the process. I just wish the best for him now in K.C.”
Carlos Rodon enjoyed his best performance of the season despite developing a blister on the side of his left middle finger.
In his sixth start since coming off the disabled list, Rodon limited the Indians to one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out nine as his ERA fell from 6.29 to 5.23.
“The outing that he had today, based on the skill set that he has, is what we’re hoping that he will continue to become,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Obviously, this is a step in the right direction.”
This and that
* Leury Garcia was activated from the 10-day disabled list and took Cabrera’s place on the roster. Garcia hit his seventh home run to break up a no-hitter with two outs in the sixth.
* Hitting coach Todd Steverson was ejected in the sixth by plate umpire Lance Barrett.