CHICAGO (AP) — Called on to protect a one-run lead for the Chicago White Sox in the ninth inning, David Robertson sure made things interesting.
Then he made the pitches he needed.
Robertson dodged a bases-loaded jam, Melky Cabrera homered and Todd Frazier drove in the go-ahead run with a single to lead the White Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
The White Sox started a six-game homestand on a winning note after talking three of four at Boston, though things got a little tighter in the ninth than they would have liked.
The Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out before Robertson struck out Edwin Encarnonacion on a low 3-2 fastball and retired Michael Saunders on a pop fly to shortstop Tim Anderson. That gave him 100 career saves and 19 in 21 chances this season.
“It’s got to be a strike and it’s got to be perfect,” Robertson said, referring to the 3-2 pitch to Encarnacion. “I threw a good cutter down and away and it hit right where I wanted it to and his bat missed it. I was lucky.”
He’ll get no argument from Toronto’s Kevin Pillar.
“You tell me we have the bases loaded in the ninth inning with Eddie up, I like our chances,” he said.
Cabrera drove a solo homer off Aaron Sanchez in the fifth and finished with three hits against his former team.
Frazier broke a 2-2 tie with a sharp single to left with two outs in the seventh against Jesse Chavez (4-2) after Tim Anderson led off with a double under third baseman Josh Donaldson’s glove.
Nate Jones (3-2) and Zach Duke each worked a scoreless inning in relief. Carlos Rodon gave up two runs and six hits while pitching into the sixth.
Ex-Blue Jay Brett Lawrie had three hits, and the White Sox came out on top despite going 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
“It feels like every game we’ve got a shot to win,” Frazier said. “You saw it in Fenway. We took three out of four. We should have taken four out of four. But we feel good every day.”
Pillar had two hits and drove in two runs for Toronto, and Saunders scored twice. Sanchez went six innings, allowing two runs and eight hits, but the Blue Jays came up short again.
White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper got ejected after Rodon was called for a balk in the sixth. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons got tossed with one out in the ninth after pinch-hitter Darwin Barney swung at a two-strike pitch in the dirt that got away from the catcher.
Barney started heading to first, but the pitch was ruled a foul ball. He wound up walking.
“You’re not begging for your hitter to strike out by any means, but we were looking for a baserunner,” Gibbons said.
The Blue Jays promoted outfielder Junior Lake from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned outfielder Darrell Ceciliani to the minor league club.
Blue Jays: 1B Justin Smoak was out of the lineup and scheduled to get an X-ray after taking a foul ball off his left knee Wednesday. . Ezequiel Carrera led off and played left field after sitting out Wednesday’s game with a sore Achilles’ tendon. . LHPs Brett Cecil (lat muscle) and Franklin Morales (shoulder) will have their rehab assignments moved from Class-A Dunedin to Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday. . Saunders served as DH to get him off his feet, Gibbons said.
White Sox: The White Sox held 1B Jose Abreu out of the lineup because of sore legs, though he was available off the bench. ... GM Rick Hahn said the White Sox are “not too far away” from sending 1B Justin Morneau on a rehab assignment. Morneau, who signed June 9, has been taking grounders as he works his way back from left elbow surgery in December. ... Hahn said surgery is a possibility for RHP Zach Putnam (inflammation of the ulnar nerve in his right elbow), who got a second opinion on Friday.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (4-8, 4.08 ERA) starts for the Blue Jays, with RHP Miguel Gonzalez (1-2, 4.29) pitching for Chicago.