5/19/2013 9:31 P.M. ET
Crash at wall conjures sour memory for Cain
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- When Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain bumped into the center-field wall while making a catch on a long drive by the A's Derek Norris on Saturday night, it brought back a non-too-pleasant memory.
It was against the Oakland Coliseum wall in last season's fifth game that Cain sustained a groin injury while making a spectacular catch. That was just the first of three leg injuries that limited him to 61 games last year.
"It was a rough season after that, to say the least," Cain said. "You definitely want to avoid those walls as much as you can, but sometimes you can't help it."
At bat, Cain is off to a good start with a .308 average and 22 RBIs, which ranks third on the club. His average with runners in scoring position, .457 (16-for-35), ranked second in the American League to Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers.
"For the most part, I've had a pretty consistent season so far, but we've got a long season to go, and I've got to keep it going," Cain said
Cain did not start Sunday, getting a day off as David Lough played center field, but he did pinch-hit unsuccessfully.
Lough latest to man leadoff spot
OAKLAND -- Manning the leadoff spot in the Royals' batting order has been something of a challenge the last couple of years.
It has mostly ended up being Alex Gordon, 81 times of 162 games last year and 30 of the first 40 games this year. Eventually, though, Gordon always seems to gravitate back to the No. 3 slot.
So last year, manager Ned Yost had nine different players in the No. 1 slot. This year, in addition to Gordon, Yost has tried four others -- Jarrod Dyson, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and now David Lough.
Lough, just up from Triple-A Omaha for the injured Dyson, got his second shot at the job Sunday against the A's. That is where he batted this year for Omaha, though in 2012 he was mostly in the fifth slot. But being No. 1 is not new to him.
"I've done it in previous years, coming up through the system," Lough said.
"I don't mind it at all. You get a lot more ABs, people watch you a little bit more, being the leadoff guy. They take away the bunt, they pick over more, being the speed-type guy in the leadoff position. I think they worry about you a little more. Which I like -- I like to make teams worry about me."
Quite often, of course, the leadoff batter actually leads off an inning just once -- in his first at-bat. With that in mind, Lough talked to Omaha manager Mike Jirschele about being aggressive on the first pitch of the game.
"That first pitch they always just kind of throw it in there sometimes," Lough said. "He said if it's a good pitch and where I like, swing at it. But I think taking pitches is better for me in the long run, get in a better count or at least try to and get a better pitch rather than swing at the first pitch. Because you could just waste an at-bat swinging at the first pitch."
Lough had no success Sunday, going 0-for-4 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.
Gordon has prospered since his switch to the third spot May 9. After four hits in Sunday's 4-3 loss to the A's, he was hitting .450 (18-for-40) as the No. 3 hitter.
"It's nothing I haven't done before," Gordon said before Sunday's game. "The last three years, it's either the one-hole or the three-hole, so I've made the switch the last three years. I really don't have that different of an approach. Maybe take a few less pitches and getting more RBI situations, so I'm more aggressive."
Royals' 'School Day' rescheduled for June
OAKLAND -- School Day, the weather day for kids that was weathered out May 2, has been re-titled Summer School Day and is rescheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, June 12, prior to the Royals' game against the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium.
Stadium gates will open that day at 8:30 a.m. CT, and the Fox 4 Weather Team will launch its presentation at 10 a.m. After an hour-long program, the kids are invited to visit a science fair in Lot J.
The Royals are offering various options for the exchange of tickets purchased for the original event. Tickets are also for sale at www.royals.com/schoolday.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.