The decisive point possibly for the Royals in Thursday’s 7-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins occurred hours before the first pitch at Target Field.
Outfielder Lorenzo Cain pronounced himself ready to play after testing his sore left groin with a full on-field workout.
That prompted a late lineup change to put Cain into center field and he responded by making a spectacular catch at the wall that snatched away a two-run homer from Trevor Plouffe in the fifth inning.
“Did it look good?” Cain asked through a smile. “I got a good jump on it. I was able to get back take a peek at the wall get up and make a play. I was pumped up. I robbed a home run.
“I was kind of excited and it got the team excited. Then we came in and got the bats going.”
And the Royals roll on.
They have now won nine in a row for the first time opening the 2003 season at 9-0. They head to New York to play the Mets with their first 6-0 start to a road trip since 1980 after sweeps in Chicago and Minnesota.