Cain makes great read to score decisive run

Cain makes great read to score decisive run

KANSAS CITY -- As Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer hoisted a fly ball toward right-center field, Lorenzo Cain knew he had to make a quick decision.

With the score tied at 2 in the eighth inning, Cain knew the importance of making the right read and possibly scoring the potential game-winning run.

What made Cain hesitate for a millisecond was talented Orioles center fielder Adam Jones bearing down on the fly ball. But Cain gambled the ball would drop and raced around the bases, scoring easily after the ball did drop for an RBI double by Hosmer. That was enough for a 3-2 win on Friday night.

"I feel like I read it pretty early," Cain said. "I knew Hos hit it good. If [Jones] had gotten closer to it, he would have had to dive to make it close. Sometimes you take a chance. I just took off and tried to score."

Did Cain know fairly soon he'd made the right call?

"Oh yeah. No doubt in my mind," said Cain, who opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first inning. "I ran as hard as I could and I saw Jirsch [third-base coach Mike Jirschele] wave his arm. I don't know what happened after that. I was just hustling.

"As [Jones] was getting close, I kind of saw he was about to lay out for it so I just went. I felt like I got the best read I could and got a good jump. I knew we needed to score a run there."

Cain's RBI double

Cain has a long history of making great baserunning reads.

"Great instincts and couple that with the long strides, and it makes him pretty good," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Hosmer certainly enjoys having Cain on base when he's up to bat.

"It's always nice," Hosmer said, smiling. "I've been the beneficiary of a couple RBIs [over time] with him on first. That's definitely a key hitting behind him.

"As soon as it hit the ground, I knew Lo was gonna score. It's a good feeling."

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