Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain ended Opening Day in style, robbing José Martínez of a game-tying solo home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.
Lefty reliever Josh Hader was on for his second inning of work after striking out the side in the top of the eighth. He got Yadier Molina to fly out, then struck out Dexter Fowler to bring up Martínez. Martínez took an inside fastball for ball one, then ripped a second fastball that caught a bit too much of the plate to right-center field. Cain, who somehow has never won a Gold Glove Award, gave chase. He slowed down at the warning track, timing his leap just in front of the Cardinals’ bullpen. As replays showed, the ball indeed would’ve slipped just over the fence if not for Cain’s effort.
The Brewers won 5-4. Hader got the save. Starter Jhoulys Chacín — who homered — got the win. Miles Mikolas was saddled with the loss.
The 16-31, last place Royals had a power outage lasting nearly two weeks. Entering Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Cardinals, Jorge Soler had hit the club’s most recent home run, a solo shot off of the Phillies’ Jake Arrieta in the sixth inning on May 10. That time frame spanned eight games.
Soler ended the home run drought, hitting a three-run round-tripper off of Michael Wacha to cap off a six-run third inning in the first game of the twin billing, staking the Royals to a 7-0 lead.
Soler, 27, is now batting .249/.303/.497 with 11 homers, 30 RBI, and 22 runs scored in 198 plate appearances on the season. He’s the only member of the Royals currently in double-digits in homers, though Hunter Dozier (nine) and Alex Gordon (eight) should soon join him.