May 30, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Kansas City Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson (1) and outfielder Lorenzo Cain (6) and second baseman Omar Infante (14) celebrate after a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The Kansas City Royals won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Lorenzo Cain’s Four-RBI’s Carries Royals to Victory

Lorenzo Cain drove in four runs, including two with a home run, to power the Kansas City Royals to a 6-1 victory over Toronto at the Rogers Centre Friday night.

Starter Jason Vargas held the Blue Jays in check for 6 innings, allowing only one run on Jose Bautista‘s solo shot in the bottom of the 5th. Vargas earned his 5th win on the season against 2 losses.

The Royals are now 2 games under .500 at 26-28, and remain 6.5 games behind Detroit in the American League Central.

On the Mound

Jason Vargas had pinpoint command, which allowed him to strike out 7 batters in his 6.0 IP. Overall, Vargas allowed, 7 hits, 3 walks, and 1 run to the powerful Blue Jays after pitching carefully to them all night. Vargas reduced his ERA to a fine 3.39 on the season. He’s proved to be a solid signing by GM Dayton Moore.

Aaron Crow relieved Vargas in the 7th and worked a scoreless inning despite allowing a hit.

Kelvin Herrera finished off the final two innings after Cain’s 8th inning blast gave the Royals a 5-run bulge. Herrera did not give up any runs despite 3 walks.

At the Plate

Lorenzo Cain had one heck of a day going 3-4 with 4 RBI’s and two singles and a home run. Cain’s 2-run blast went a majestic 423 feet to right-center field. It was his 2nd home run of the season.

Billy Butler ended up leading off 4 half innings. On the day, Butler collected 3 singles and scored all three times.

Alex Gordon also had a good day going 1-2, with a 2-run home run and 2 walks. Gordon scored 2 runs with 2 RBI’s. The shot was Gordon’s 4th home run on the year.

Nori Aoki smacked two hits, including a ground rule double that bounced over the center-field fence. Had the ball remained in play, Aoki looked like he had an easy triple.

Overall, the Royal had 9 hits, 2 walks,  1 double, and 2 home runs on the day, while scoring 6. Funny how you don’t need so many baserunners to score runs when you actually drive the ball.

This and That

Alex Gordon ended up getting credited with a stolen base when Toronto starter J.A. Happ made a wild pickoff attempt toward first. Since Gordon was running on the play, he ended up with his 3rd stolen base of the year. Cain drove in Gordon with a 2-out single for Kansas City’s fourth run of the game.

Nori Aoki’s misadventures continued with yet another awkward play while trying to field a pop fly foul from Edwin Encarnacion in the 4th inning. The ball ended up striking the sliding Aoki in the groin. Ouch!

Dale Sveum has been the Royals hitting coach for two days, and the team has scored 14 runs and hit 3 home runs. I don’t know what he’s doing, but the Baseball Gods seem pleased by the move.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Lorenzo Cain and his 4 RBI’s are an easy pick. Cain’s RBI single in the 2nd allowed the Royals to jump out to a 1-run lead. His single in the 6th let the Royals exploit Happ’s throwing error, and his home run in the 8th allowed Ned Yost to rest set-up man Wade Davis in the 9th.

The Blue Jays

Jose Bautista slammed his 14th home run on the season. He went 2-3 on the day, with a single, a home run, 2 walks, 1 run scored and 1 RBI.

Bautista also threw out a runner at first base for the 2nd straight day. On Thursday, it was the slow Billy Butler. On Friday, the alert Bautista noticed that Omar Infante had slacked while running to first believing his pop fly to right was a foul ball.

The Blue Jays only managed the one run on Bautista’s solo shot despite 8 hits and 7 walks. They stranded 14 runners in the game, including Jose Reyes at 3rd with a leadoff triple in the bottom of the 1st.

Up Next

The Royals will call up Aaron Brooks (0-0, 27.00 ERA) from AAA Omaha to fill in for injured Yordano Ventura to pitch the 3rd game of the four game series in Toronto. The Blue Jays will send the similarly experienced Marcus Stroman (1-0, 12.79 ERA) to the mound. This game will be the first major-league start for both pitchers. Game time is 12:07 CST at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Box

Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Nori Aoki RF 4 0 2 0 0 0 .269 .656
   Jarrod Dyson CF 1 0 0 0 0 0 .271 .644
Omar Infante 2B 5 0 0 0 0 1 .255 .674
Eric Hosmer 1B 4 0 0 0 0 2 .271 .684
Billy Butler DH 4 3 3 0 0 0 .249 .613
Alex Gordon LF 2 2 1 2 2 1 .281 .761
Salvador Perez C 4 0 0 0 0 1 .253 .717
Lorenzo Cain CF-RF 4 1 3 4 0 0 .339 .828
Danny Valencia 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 .262 .689
Alcides Escobar SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 .266 .679
Team Totals 36 6 9 6 2 6 .250 .734

2B: N Aoki (8, off J Happ).
HR: A Gordon (4, off J Happ, 4th inn, 1 on, 0 outs to Deep RF); L Cain (2, off J Happ, 8th inn, 1 on, 2 outs to Deep LF-CF).
TB: L Cain 6; A Gordon 4; B Butler 3; N Aoki 3.
RBI: L Cain 4 (19); A Gordon 2 (29).
2-out RBI: L Cain 3.
Team LOB: 5.
With RISP: 2 for 8.
Baserunning
SB: N Aoki (7, 3rd base off J Happ/E Kratz); A Gordon (3, 2nd base off J Happ/E Kratz).

Blue Jays Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Jose Reyes SS 5 0 1 0 0 2 .250 .733
Melky Cabrera LF 5 0 0 0 0 1 .310 .839
Jose Bautista RF 3 1 2 1 2 0 .305 .993
Edwin Encarnacion 1B 2 0 0 0 3 0 .265 .947
Brett Lawrie 3B-2B 4 0 1 0 1 2 .232 .685
Dioner Navarro DH 5 0 2 0 0 2 .272 .652
Steven Tolleson 2B 3 0 1 0 0 1 .300 .955
   Juan Francisco PH-3B 1 0 0 0 0 0 .257 .919
Erik Kratz C 3 0 1 0 0 0 .208 .620
   Adam Lind PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 .337 .972
   Josh Thole C 0 0 0 0 0 0 .340 .784
Kevin Pillar CF 3 0 0 0 0 1 .300 .700
   Anthony Gose PH-CF 0 0 0 0 1 0 .310 .812
Team Totals 35 1 8 1 7 9 .229 .729

3B: J Reyes (2, off J Vargas).
HR: J Bautista (14, off J Vargas, 5th inn, 0 on, 2 outs to Deep CF-RF).
TB: J Bautista 5; J Reyes 3; D Navarro 2; E Kratz; S Tolleson; B Lawrie.
RBI: J Bautista (39).
2-out RBI: J Bautista.
Team LOB: 14.
With RISP: 0 for 10.
Fielding
Outfield Assists: J Bautista (O Infante).

Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Jason Vargas, W (5-2) 6 7 1 1 3 7 1 3.39 108 70
Aaron Crow, H (5) 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 2.38 27 13
Kelvin Herrera 2 0 0 0 3 2 0 1.67 47 27
Team Totals 9 8 1 1 7 9 1 1.00 182 110
Blue Jays Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
J.A. Happ, L (4-2) 7.2 9 6 6 2 6 2 4.10 116 78
Bobby Korecky 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 19 14
Team Totals 9 9 6 6 2 6 2 6.00 135 92

Balks: None.
WP: None.
HBP: None.
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.

Tags: Alex Gordon Jason Vargas Kansas City Royals Lorenzo Cain Norichicka Aoki

  • Leigh Oleszczak

    Lorenzo Cain has been explosive lately. Let’s hope the team can keep the momentum from the past two games and get back above .500!

  • John Viril

    Cain has been the team’s best player, at the plate and in the field.

    • Eric

      No..gordan has

    • Eric

      So it’s been 16 days since we talked. Still think Cain is the best player for the royals? 3 gold gloves in left Cain gets moved to right and has to have days off because he’s “fragile”. Gordan is the best left fielder in baseball. I like Cain don’t get me wrong but he can’t and won’t produce at Gordon’s rate for a year. Gordon will win gold glove #4 and be an all star.,again.

  • Eric

    How can anyone say Cain has been the royals best player when you have 3 time gold glover Alex in left.. All the defensive plays he’s made has saved how many runs? Let Cain be healthy for once and produce at Gordans level before ridiculous comments like that are made

    • John Viril

      Gordon has 2.0 WAR on the season while Cain has 1.9 WAR in 20 less games. Cain has been more productive when he’s played.

      If both continue to produce at current rates, you will get more WAR out of CF, given rhat the Royals have a useful backup in Jarrod Dyson.

      Now, Gordon’s track record suggests he will stay in the lineup and produce more, while Cain has yet to show he can stay healthy—but that doesn’t mean anything about games already played.