Lorenzo Cain back in KC's center fieldBy TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
The Royals wanted to find out what they had in center fielder Lorenzo Cain, which is why Melky Cabrera was expendable in the offseason to make room for Cain, one of the prospects acquired in the Zack Greinke trade, to start for a full season.
But a groin strain followed by a torn hip flexor during a rehab assignment cost Cain 79 games.
The start of the season was definitely not what I expected with the injuries and stuff, Cain said. Right now, all I can do is go out there and do the best I can. Its been a while for me, so Im trying to pick it back up and get my swing down at the plate.
Basically, it might come down to a three-month audition for Cain.
With Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur set at the corner outfield spots and under contract through at least next season the Royals dont appear to be in any rush to get prospect Wil Myers to the big leagues.
Instead, it will remain Cains chance to show what he can do.
It was a short rehab, and Im definitely a little rusty, because I havent played all year, Cain said. Theres definitely a little rust that comes along with that, but Im going to try to shake it off as quick as possible.
Making his debut at Kauffman Stadium, Cain showed little rust with an RBI single and a walk in his first two plate appearances. He scored three runs.
Cain, who also gunned down Kevin Youkilis trying to go from first to third in the sixth inning, sparked a go-ahead rally with his two-out eighth-inning hustle double.
We still want to mix (Jarrod) Dyson in and weve got Jason (Bourgeois) as well, but I imagine Lorenzo will play five days a week, manager Ned Yost said.
Big-league bike trip
Shawnee Mission Northwest graduates Adam Kremers and Chase Higgins, along with college friends Rex Roberts and Steve Lunn, are in the middle of a 11,000-mile, five-month tour of every major-league stadium in the U.S. for charity.
The Biking for Baseball dream started in 2009 when Kremers, 27, was a water resources engineer and Roberts, 26, was a web developer.
Along with Higgins, 27, a fraud investigator for a bank, and Lunn, 25, an English teacher, the friends founded a 501(c)3 charity with the mission that every kid needs a coach.
Three years later, the fearless foursome abandoned their careers and started a cross-country trek April 13 at Safeco Field in Seattle.
More than 6,500 miles and 14 stadiums later, Kremers and Higgins arrived home at Kauffman Stadium for the Royals second-half opener against the AL Central-leading White Sox.
At each city along the way, the group, which travels along secondary highways, has conducted free youth baseball clinics in conjunction with local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters.
Averaging as many as 100 miles per day, its a tiresome grind, but the publicity generated for Biking for Baseball, which can be found online at BikingForBaseball.com, is worth it.
The 30-stadium tour wraps up Sept. 22 at Bostons Fenway Park another 4,500 miles from now.
Best in show
The Royals Event Presentation and Production staff captured a major industry award for the second straight year in recognition of the video presentation that precedes each game at Kauffman Stadium.
The Golden Matrix Awards, presented by the Information Display Entertainment Association, recognize artistic and technical excellence in the programming of large-screen video and matrix displays at stadiums, arenas and other public-assembly facilities.
The Royals won for the Best Show Open category for the second straight year and received the award Wednesday at the IDEA Conference in Minneapolis. The event staff includes:
The bid by veteran left-hander Doug Davis for a spot in the Royals rotation took a hit Thursday when he allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings in Class AAA Omahas 12-11 loss to Iowa.
Davis was actually positioned for a victory when he departed with a 7-6 lead. Relievers Brandon Sisk and Jeremy Jeffress combined to give up six runs in two innings.
It was Davis first rocky outing in six starts since joining the Omaha rotation.
He was 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA in five previous starts.
Meanwhile, Class A Wilmington right-hander Jason Adam, a Blue Valley Northwest grad, was cited by Baseball America on its weekly Prospect Hot Sheet after throwing 71/3 scoreless innings in his only start.
• Friday: 32,744
• 2012 season (through 38 games): 904,391
• 2011 season (through 38 games): 723,391
• Ahead: 181,000
• 2012 average: 23,800
• 2011 average: 19,037
It was 21 years ago today that the Royals set a franchise record by hitting six home runs in an 18-4 victory over the Tigers in Detroit. Mike Macfarlane and Brian McRae each hit two homers, while George Brett and Todd Benzinger each hit one.
The Royals tied the record on May 21, 2003, in a 14-5 victory at Seattle.
• Senior defensive lineman Brad Madison threw out the first pitch on Mizzou Night at Kauffman Stadium.
• In time, Yost sees catcher Salvy Perez as a middle-of-the-order bat, but for now, despite a lofty average, he will stay down in the lineup.