Facing an eventual 8-4 loss in Kansas City, the Royals’ Tuesday evening was made all the messier when All-Star center fielder Lorenzo Cain grabbed his hamstring and limped back to the dugout after trying to run out an infield hit in the seventh inning.
Following the game, neither Cain nor manager Ned Yost had much to offer in the way of an explanation, per the Kansas City Star.
In the moments after the game, Royals manager Ned Yost revealed that Cain was diagnosed with a hamstring strain and will see a doctor on Wednesday to determine the severity. The Royals will wait for clarity before offering a possible prognosis.
Losing to the Cardinals is already one of the more demoralizing feelings in baseball. But for the Royals, who over the past few years have only begun to match their interstate rivals in the standings, there is an even more distinct sting added by the loss of a key player.
Cain’s importance to the Royals as an elite defender and threat on the base paths, combined with his history of lower body injuries, made the news (what little of it there was) most unwelcome. Kansas City had only just seen the return of left fielder Alex Gordon from injury and already lost third baseman Mike Moustakas to knee surgery. Meanwhile, the Indians have sprinted to the top of the AL Central thanks to an absurd 11-game winning streak, leaving even the top efforts of a talented Royals team as second best for the moment.
The Royals will turn to Jarrod Dyson in center field with Cain, who had been hitting .290 with a .752 OPS, on the mend. The 29-year-old Cain will know more about his situation after meeting with medics on Wednesday.