Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - In six major league seasons, Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain has averaged one home run every 20 games.
That number changes dramatically when he plays the Chicago White Sox.
Cain homered for the fifth time in 44 games against the White Sox, a two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth inning that lifted the Royals to a 7-5 win on Wednesday night.
Cain's no-doubt-about-it shot off Zach Putnam (0-1) cleared the bullpen behind left field and put the reigning American League champions in position to sweep the season-opening three-game series.
The Royals celebrated their 2014 pennant on Monday, then won the opener of the series 10-0 against their AL Central foes. Manager Ned Yost said his team is playing with a lot of confidence.
"I believe that if we have the lead or are tied from the sixth inning on we're going to win the game," said Yost.
Cain finished with three hits and two runs scored and Eric Hosmer hit a three- run homer off White Sox starter Jose Quintana in Wednesday's win.
Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer off Royals starter Danny Duffy, who went five-plus innings and was charged with five runs on eight hits. Avisail Garcia had three hits for Chicago.
Quintana, who is 0-6 in 13 career starts against the Royals, gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk in five innings. He hit two batters, including Cain in the first inning, after the White Sox plunked three in Monday's opener.
Duffy received a warning after throwing behind Chicago designated hitter Adam LaRoche in the second inning and Quintana followed by hitting Mike Moustakas in the third.
Royals leadoff man Alcides Escobar stroked three hits, including a single to start the eighth. Cain's homer came with one out and closer Greg Holland threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his first save of the season.
Moustakas doubled in the bottom of the first inning and scored the game's first run for Kansas City on Kendrys Morales' single.
Flowers followed a two-out double by LaRoche and a single by Gordon Beckham with a blast to left to give Chicago the lead in the second inning.
"I thought we played well," said Beckham. "We kept clawing."
Hosmer put the Royals back in front with his line-drive shot to right-center in the third, which also scored Moustakas and Cain, but the Chicago tied it in the fourth inning after Garcia doubled and came home on Beckham's single.
Singles by Hosmer, Alex Rios and Salvador Perez allowed Hosmer to score in the fifth inning for Kansas City. Chicago tied it again at 5-5 in the sixth after Jose Abreu doubled and Garcia singled to chase Duffy and Alexei Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly off Jason Frasor.
The Royals couldn't push a run across despite having a runner in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings.
Wade Davis (1-0) pitched the eighth inning to pick up the win .... Cain is now averaging a home run every 8.8 games against the White Sox ... Flowers hit a career-high 15 home runs last season ... Left-hander John Danks will start the series finale for Chicago on Thursday against Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez.