Cain returns with Brewers to face Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lorenzo Cain, one of the Kansas City Royals‘ stars from the 2014-15 World Series clubs, will be back at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday night, but not wearing Royal blue.

He will be patrolling center field for the Milwaukee Brewers, who signed him to a five-year, $80 million contract on Jan. 26. The Royals and Brewers open a two-game mini-interleague series.

Cain broke into the majors with the Brewers, but the Royals acquired him in the blockbuster Zack Greinke trade after the 2010 season.

Cain, who hit .300 in his final Royals season, is doing well with the Brewers. He is batting .303 with 13 walks for a .400 on-base percentage. He had a .461 slugging percentage, which includes six doubles and two home runs in 76 at-bats spanning 22 games. He has batted leadoff in 16 games and leads the team with five stolen bases in six attempts and has scored 14 runs.

And while the Royals are struggling, ending a nine-game losing streak on Friday and winning only five of their first 20 games, the Brewers are hot. They beat the Miami Marlins on Sunday to conclude a homestand and extend their winning streak to six games. The last time they won six in a row was Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, 2015.

This is the opener of a nine-game, three-city trip for the Brewers. The Royals will play their next seven and 11 of their next 14 at home.

The Royals used an Abraham Almonte grand slam and a Mike Moustakas three-run shot to win Sunday at Detroit.

Both the Royals and Brewers were off Monday.

The Royals could be getting some reinforcements soon. All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, who went on the disabled list just before the March 29 opener with a knee injury suffered carrying a suitcase up some stairs at his home, and Alex Gordon, who has missed 12 games with a left hip labral tear, have been rehabbing with Triple-A Omaha.

“They’re close,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of coming back.

Don’t be surprised if the Royals activate Perez on Tuesday. He has played seven games in the minors on a rehab assignment with Omaha and Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

“It could be any day, and it could very well be the next series,” Yost said. “But we just got to wait and see how things go.”

The Royals have left-handed power in Moustakas, who has a 14-game hitting streak, and Lucas Duda, but they have missed Perez’s right-handed bat in the middle of the order.

Perez had a two-run double Sunday and scored on a Gordon double in the Storm Chasers’ victory over Nashville.

Right-hander Ian Kennedy will start Tuesday for the Royals. He is 3-4 with a .366 ERA in 10 starts against Milwaukee. He is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in seven interleague starts.

Kennedy has lost his last two starts. In a 15-5 loss at Toronto, Kennedy gave up six runs (two unearned) and eight hits, including two home runs, and three walks in five innings while striking out six. He is 1-2 with a 2.35 ERA for the season.

The Brewers will counter with right-hander Zach Davies, who will be making his fifth start. He is 1-2 with a 4.84 ERA. He pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in beating the Cincinnati Reds in his last start on Wednesday, giving up three hits, walking two (one intentionally) and hitting a batter.

Davies has never faced the Royals. Kansas City outfielder Jon Jay has a .357 average against Davies in 14 at-bats when he was in the National League.