Cain homers in return to KC as Brewers beat Royals 5-2
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lorenzo Cain spent seven seasons with the Kansas City Royals, winning two American League pennants and a World Series title while growing accustomed to the cheers of their adoring fans.
The jersey has changed. That love for Cain has not.
The affable outfielder homered and reached base four times in his return to Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday night, sending the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-2 victory over the Royals. And on several occasions, including his homer in the seventh inning, Cain was given a standing ovation.
"He should get a treatment like that. They had some special times here for sure," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell, whose team has won seven straight. "Just a solid game setting the tone for us."
Travis Shaw added a three-run homer for the Brewers, while Zach Davies (2-2) pitched six innings of four-hit ball. Ryan Braun had two hits, walked twice and drove in a run.
Matt Albers, Dan Jennings and Jeremy Jeffress combined for three scoreless innings of relief.
Just about the only negative for Milwaukee was a thumb injury for first baseman Eric Thames, who left in the ninth inning. Counsell said he would know the extent of the injury after tests on Wednesday.
"It's a ligament issue we're concerned about," Counsell said.
Salvador Perez homered for Kansas City in his return from the disabled list, and Alex Gordon doubled and scored in his return from the DL, giving the slumping Royals their only offense.
"It's nice to get their bats back in the lineup," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Ian Kennedy (1-3) left after allowing four runs over three shaky innings. He took a liner off his ankle in the third but finished the inning before leaving the game.
He had precautionary X-rays taken on his right foot that came back negative.
"We're going to wear a boot to take pressure off of it the next 12 hours," Kennedy said. "It's a tiny little bone, but it means a lot. I've learned my lessons in the past, pitching through things that can affect your movements or your balance that makes a difference especially down the road."
Cain walked and scored in the third and fifth before going deep off Burch Smith. He also made a couple of nifty grabs in center field, that familiar patch of turf he presided over for so many seasons.
Cain parlayed his success in Kansas City into an $80 million, five-year contract in free agency, returning to the club that drafted him in 2004 and eventually traded him in a deal for Zack Greinke.
"I've grown a lot," Cain said. "Gotten a little older. Won a World Series, went to two. A lot happened since they traded for me. I've been thinking about this day for a while now."
He was certainly remembered fondly by the Royals faithful.
Cain got his first standing ovation when he sprinted onto the field for warmups, then got another one when he stepped to bat in the first inning. And when he lined his third homer of the year to right to lead off the seventh, the crowd gave him another round of applause.
"It was cool. It was neat to get a warm welcome," Davies said. "He was having fun with it."
STATS AND STREAKS
Kennedy failed to record a strikeout for the first time in 273 appearances, the second-longest active streak in the majors.
Brewers: SS Orlando Arcia got the day off because of stomach pain, though his ailing ankle was fine. ... LHP Boone Logan (left triceps strain) threw a simulated game without problems and will join Double-A Biloxi on a rehab assignment. ... C Stephen Vogt (right shoulder strain) is headed to Arizona for at-bats in extended spring training. He could join a minor league club next week.
Royals: RHP Justin Grimm went on the DL with back tightness. It was part of a series of moves that included the activation of Perez (left knee strain) and Gordon (torn left hip labrum).
Brewers: C Manny Pina (right calf strain) was activated from the DL and C Jacob Nottingham was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Royals: C Cam Gallagher and OF Paulo Orlando were optioned to Triple-A Omaha, while LHP Eric Stout was recalled from the same club to provide some bullpen help.
Brewers RHP Jhoulys Chacin moves up in the rotation to face Kansas City on Wednesday night, while RHP Chase Anderson will pitch Thursday against the Cubs. The Royals counter with RHP Jason Hammel.