CHICAGO – No one on the bench wanted Melky Cabrera to stop. He wasn’t about to, anyway, when he saw the ball shoot out into right field.
He sprinted around second and slid into third just ahead of the relay to complete a rare cycle. And in a flash, his teammates went wild on the bench.
“Definitely a day to remember,” Alex Rodriguez said.
Cabrera became the 15th Yankees player and their first in 14 years to hit for the cycle, leading New York to an 8-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon.
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Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the second to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead, doubled in the fourth and chased Mark Buehrle (11-5) with an RBI single in the fifth. He then tripled to right leading off the ninth against Scott Linebrink, driving the ball over Jermaine Dye’s head and drawing a loud roar from a crowd that had showered Buehrle with cheers before his first start at home since his perfect game.
This time, the fans saw something rare happen at the plate.
When he looked into the dugout after the triple, Cabrera said, “I felt very happy.” He saw a raucous bench, a group that wanted him to go for the triple even if he couldn’t make it.
“Everybody was running with him,” Derek Jeter said.
On the other side?
“It was very painful,” manager Ozzie Guillen said, laughing.
The cycle was the first by a Yankee since Tony Fernandez did it against Oakland on Sept. 3, 1995.