Cain goes yard, Royals hold on in ninth to beat Brewers 8-5
MILWAUKEE -- Kansas City's collection of former Brewers made a triumphant return to Milwaukee, though normally lights-out reliever Greg Holland made the win more difficult than expected.
Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer, but the Royals needed Wade Davis to finish off an 8-5 win Monday night after Holland struggled in the ninth.
"I left some pitches in the middle of the plate that you can't do when you're ahead in the count," Holland said.
The Royals held on in manager Ned Yost's first regular season game back in Milwaukee since being fired by the Brewers late in the 2008 campaign.
A couple of other former Brewers chipped in with Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar each getting two hits and two RBIs.
But Holland's difficult night turned what was an 8-2 game going into the bottom of the ninth into an unexpected thriller.
After running into tough luck at the plate for much of the night, the Brewers were finally able to string together hits in a three-run ninth off Holland. The closer pitching in a non-save situation had his first outing in six days.
"It's rust. That's my fault," Yost said.
Jonathan Lucroy's second double of the game made it 8-5 to chase Holland from the game. Holland's ERA ballooned from 1.76 to 3.52 after allowing three runs on four hits and a walk.
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Adam Lind nearly broke through against Davis with a liner up the middle that was snared by Escobar for an out. Davis held on for his eighth save, stranding runners on second and third.
"Our guys put good at-bats together against two really good pitchers," manager Craig Counsell said. "We made them work for it."
The Royals had set the tone until the ninth. Mike Moustakas drove in leadoff hitter Escobar with a single in a three-run first inning with Escobar running on the pitch from first.
Cain tacked on his two-run shot in the fifth, his fifth of the season, off starter Kyle Lohse (3-8) for a 5-0 lead.
It was just enough of a cushion for starter Edinson Volquez (6-4), who allowed six hits and two runs in five shaky innings. The damage could have been worse if not for a couple inning-ending double plays and other well-hit balls right at fielders.
Cain and Escobar each played last played for the Brewers in 2010. They've turned into key players for the Royals.
"Every day I go out and play hard, try the best I can do," Escobar said. "Don't try to be too much, just play, enjoy the game."
In the first, Escobar was originally ruled out on a play at the plate before Yost's challenge led to the call being overturned to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead.
Lohse gave up five runs and five hits in five innings. His ERA rose to 6.44.
He had some bad luck, too, after a couple bouncers glanced off the gloves of fielders for hits.
Home runs, though, continue to be a problem. Cain's shot was the 16th allowed by Lohse this season.
"I'm not that far away. I know it is ugly, but it is just make a pitch here and there," the veteran said.
Royals: Yost said SP Yordano Ventura (right hand weakness) threw the ball well during a 35-pitch bullpen session. He left Saturday's game against St. Louis because of the injury. A rainout Sunday with the Cardinals gave the Royals more flexibility with their rotation, and Yost said he would likely push Ventura's next start back to Friday against the Red Sox in Kansas City.
Brewers: CF Carlos Gomez was scratched from the lineup with right leg tightness. The leg has bothered Gomez since he spent two weeks on the disabled list in late April with a hamstring injury. Gomez also missed a few games last week because of an injury that now seems to be concentrated to the upper part of the leg. Gomez might miss a couple games this week, manager Craig Counsell said.
Royals: Chris Young (5-2) makes the start on Tuesday in his first appearance since carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning of a 2-0 win at Minnesota on June 9. Young has a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings on the road this year.
Brewers: Matt Garza (4-7) is 2-5 with a 3.45 ERA in nine career starts against Kansas City.