Cain raises his offensive level with 4-hit game

Royals outfielder overcomes slow start to season, stays locked in vs. Twins

Cain raises his offensive level with 4-hit game

MINNEAPOLIS -- After another 0-for-4 day on April 25, Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain's average dipped to .200.

Cain, who had finished third in the American League MVP Award voting last season, suddenly didn't look like the same hitter from 2015. But the road back started almost immediately. And after Cain delivered four more hits in Tuesday night's 7-4 win over the Twins, his average stood at .296.

"I guess I've been swinging a lot better than I was earlier in the year," Cain said. "But it's a long season and that's why you keep battling and fighting and scrapping.

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"You hope things turn around and it has lately."

Can has hit in six straight games. But over his last 17, he is 27-for-70.

"I mean, balls are definitely falling now," Cain said. "That's definitely good. I've stayed with the same approach. I have a line-drive approach and go the other way. Like I said, nothing has changed. The balls are falling."

Cain isn't alone. Paulo Orlando, Salvador Perez and Jarrod Dyson also are in hitting grooves. No one, Cain said, is trying to do too much as the Royals again are banking on their keep-the-line-moving approach.

"We definitely stick to that as much as possible," Cain said. "When we do that, we start to win games consistently. And that gets us back to where we want to be. We're a long way from where we want to be -- the playoffs. But it will come."

That approach has produced four straight series wins.

"We know what kind of talent we have in here," Cain said. "I felt it was just a matter of time for us to click together. We all sort of got hot at the same time over the last week or two. We have to continue to do that and allow the pitchers to do what they do."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.