Opinion

Royals’ Lorenzo Cain drops appeal, starts serving suspension

Lorenzo Cain gets doused by Salvador Perez (13) after the Royals’ 4-2 win over the Athletics on April 19 at Kauffman.
Lorenzo Cain gets doused by Salvador Perez (13) after the Royals’ 4-2 win over the Athletics on April 19 at Kauffman. The Kansas City Star

Lorenzo Cain’s last plate appearance for three days was a memorable one.

Cain’s ninth inning home run in Saturday’s loss to the Tigers will be his last swing until Wednesday. He dropped the appeal of his two-game suspension and went to the penalty box, starting with Sunday’s game.

With Monday an off day, Cain will get three days of inactivity.

Cain was hopeful to knock off one day of the suspension with an appeal, but Cain got word from the Major League office, which had reviewed the play from several angles, that it wasn’t going to happen. In the melee at Chicago on April 23, he took a swing at White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija. It didn’t connect, but the punch is why Cain earned the suspension.

“They had some good angles, some really good angles,” Cain said. “I was hoping they didn’t see it, but they did.”

Samardzija, who wasn’t pitching in the game that night, was suspended for five games.

The dispute between Cain and Samardzija dates back to Opening Day, when Samardzija hit Cain with a pitch. Cain said it was on purpose. Sarmardzija denied it.

The suspension is the first for Cain in his professional career and he said the temper display was out of character for him.

“I’m normally a laid back, low key type of guy,” Cain said. “It takes a lot for me to get going.”

The fracas produced several other suspensions. Royals pitchers Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez and Kelvin Herrera received penalties.

Volquez has served his five-game suspension and Ventura is the process of serving his seven games.

Herrera has appealed his two-game suspension, along with the five-game penalty he received after throwing a pitch behind the Athletics’ Brett Lawrie earlier in the season.

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale also received a five-game suspension.

Because a suspended player cannot be replaced on the roster, the Royals are down to two position player reserves until Wednesday, infielder Orlando Calixte and catcher Eric Kratz.

Cain will be back for the Royals’ second game of the home series against the Indians, which begins on Tuesday.

“This (stinks) especially the way we’re playing right now,” Cain said. “But my legs definitely will be ready to go after a few days of rest.”

The Royals and White Sox don’t meet again until August, and Cain doesn’t anticipate more bad blood between the teams.

“I think it’s over with,” Cain said. “A lot of punches were thrown, a lot of emotions came out during that brawl. We’re going to move from it as players and men. You can’t be out there fighting.”

But if they do…

“We know regardless of the situation, we’ve got teammates that will back you up, guys who really care,” Cain said. “This is one of the tightest groups I’ve been a part of. I love playing with these guys.”

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

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