Royals

Lorenzo Cain continues postseason hitting streak

tpalmer@kcstar.com

Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain drove in shortstop Alcides Escobar in the third inning of the ALCS game Friday at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain drove in shortstop Alcides Escobar in the third inning of the ALCS game Friday at Kauffman Stadium. along@kcstar.com

The postseason spotlight seems to agree with Lorenzo Cain.

Cain, the Royals’ dynamic center fielder, flourished on the national stage last October during a star turn in the American League Championship Series against Baltimore.

His diving catches in the gaps became an iconic image of the run-up to the Royals’ first World Series in 29 years.

Cain was at it again Friday in this season’s ALCS opener — a 5-0 Royals win — against the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium.

“I just step up when it’s time to step up, I guess,” Cain said. “I’m not sure. I’m just playing well right now, but I think our entire team is playing well.”

He slashed a third-inning single to right field, plating Alcides Escobar and extending the Royals’ lead to 2-0.

“It was nice,” Cain said. “We’ve definitely been struggling to score runs early. To get a few earlier for Volqy, definitely with the way he pitched tonight, is a good sign for this offense.”

Edinson Volquez talked to Johnny Cueto and Sal Perez and wrote some tips in his hat before he shut down Toronto for six innings, throwing 111 pitches, including 37 in the sixth, as the Royals beat Toronto 5-0 in Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday at Kau

The RBI single also brought Cain within one game of the club’s longest hitting streak in postseason history. He has hit safely in 10 consecutive playoff games.

“Cain (had) some real good at-bats, trying to shoot the ball the other way,” Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Amos Otis owns the Royals’ record with an 11-game hitting streak that began in Game 2 of the 1978 ALCS against the Yankees and continued through Game 5 of the 1980 World Series against the Phillies.

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Cain’s streak started during Game 4 of last season’s World Series. He’s 12 for 40 — a .300 average, including two doubles and a home — and has scored seven runs with five RBIs in that span.

He wasn’t aware of the streak until speaking with reporters after the game, “I’m aware now, so if I don’t get a hit (Saturday) I’m coming to find you.”

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer

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