Can one man really carry his team to victory against the 12-4 Boston Red Sox juggernauts?
Well … not quite, but that doesn’t mean Lorenzo Cain didn’t give it his best shot on Saturday for the Kansas City Royals. In fact, he’d almost accomplished it too, if it weren’t for a late-inning implosion from the bullpen (so much for Kelvin Herrera being a shutdown closer, eh? That’s another story, I suppose).
Though he gets less buzz than his fellow teammates, it’s been the center fielder who has been the Royals’ unlikely offensive hero recently.
That was on full display on Saturday, as Cain notched four hits in a 4-for-4 day, scoring all three of the Royals’ runs in the 4-3 loss. It was just the third time in his career that he’d recorded four hits, and was something that he hadn’t done since first coming up to the majors in 2010.
In fact, it was the 27-year old’s first perfect day at the plate of his career, so the significance of the accomplishment shouldn’t be understated. He did just about everything he could to help his team win the game besides pitch, and it was in fact his ninth-inning homer off closer Andrew Bailey that brought the game within striking distance after the team’s bullpen blew the lead that Cain essentially created.
The home run was just his first on the season, but the hits have been piling up for a little while now. Saturday’s contest marked his fourth straight multi-hit game, and Cain now has hits in nine of his last 10 contests.
He now leads all Royals starters in average (.392) and OPS (.958), and considering that both Billy Butler (209/.382/.372) and Eric Hosmer (.216/.326/.243) are struggling at the heart of the order right now, the offense that Cain has generated has made a big difference to the 8-7 Royals, even if they’re relying on their pitching to get by these days.
It just wasn’t quite enough to earn the team a victory on this day, that’s all.