KANSAS CITY -- This is what Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain was working toward: a game like this.
After nearly three months on the disabled list, Cain returned to the lineup on Friday and produced a great day at the plate and in the field -- going 3-for-6 with a double, a walk, an RBI and three runs scored in Kansas City's 9-8 loss in 14 innings to the White Sox.
Cain also made a great throw from center field to nab Kevin Youkilis, who was attempting to advance to third on a sixth-inning base hit.
Cain, who was activated during the All-Star break, had been on the disabled list since early April due to a pair of left leg injuries. He last appeared in a game against Oakland on April 10, where a spectacular defensive play led to a left groin strain. Cain later tore his left hip flexor during a rehab assignment.
"It's been a frustrating year, injury-wise," Cain said before Friday's loss. "To finally get here and see my name in the lineup and get a chance to be back with my teammates and continue to build on the chemistry we already had, it's definitely an amazing feeling."
In just five games prior to his trip to the DL, Cain went 2-for-15 with a walk, a run scored, an RBI and five strikeouts. Cain also hit a rope that ended up in a double play in the bottom of the 10th.
"Cain smoked that ball," outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. "[White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham] stepped on second for a double play. That ball goes up the middle and we've got runners at first and third. That's unfortunate."
Manager Ned Yost said that Cain would get an opportunity to play nearly every day.
"He feels pretty good right now," Yost said. "We still want to mix [Jarrod] Dyson in. We're not going to leave him out of the mix, and we've got [Jason] Bourgeois. But I imagine Lorenzo will play five days a week, somewhere in there."
Cain's return, matched with Friday's return of second baseman Chris Getz, means that Yost will be able to pencil in the lineup he had hoped to back in Spring Training.
Major injuries to catcher Salvador Perez (who returned on June 22) and Cain put that on hold for much of the year.