Royals can't afford to give Cain bat break

Royals can't afford to give Cain bat break

KANSAS CITY -- Royals manager Ned Yost would like to give Lorenzo Cain a day off. He just can't.

Yost has routinely talked about how Cain, who is recovering from a pair of injuries to his left leg, has yet to reach 100 percent health. Yost has said Cain is around 85 percent, something with which Cain has agreed.

Though Yost had planned to give Cain a day off every once in a while, the center fielder's hot bat has made it impossible to take him out of the lineup.

"I would like to give him just a break, but he's swinging the bat too well right now," Yost said. "We need to win games, and we've got to put the best lineup in there right now. We're not afforded the luxury of giving guys a break because we're doing well. We have to put our best foot forward every day to try to win some games and get closer to that .500 mark."

Cain has been on a tear since returning from the DL after the All-Star break. His most recent feat was a three-RBI performance in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Twins. He was back in the middle of the lineup on Sunday, hitting fifth against Twins starter Sam Deduno.

Yost has been removing Cain from center field late in recent games, allowing Jarrod Dyson to take over on defense in the final innings. It's a move made to allow Cain to rest his legs.