"He's always a key part of our offense and a part of our team," manager Ned Yost said. "It just seems like when he's going good, we're going good. He just absolutely crushed that ball to center field, which was a big home run at that point. He sets the table for the big boys."
The Royals had already scored once in the fourth when Cain came to the plate, having already walked and singled on the day. The center fielder felt he had a good read on how A's starter Paul Blackburn was trying to pitch him.
"I feel like they were mixing up on me -- in and out, sliders away," Cain said. "I was just seeing the ball really well today, and I was able to put a really good swing on a 3-1 pitch. He gave me a fastball there and I was ready for it, put a good swing there and it went out."
Cain has been on fire for Kansas City since the start of August, going 25-for-60 (.417). That continued on the Royals' eight-game road trip, as he went 14-for-33 (.424) against the Cardinals, White Sox and A's by focusing his approach on hitting the ball up the middle.
"I feel like I've gotten back to the middle of the field. That's the biggest difference," Cain said. "Hitting line drives up the middle, ground balls up the middle, that's a big part of my game. When I'm going good, I'm hitting a lot of line drives up the middle and a lot of line drives the other way. I'm just going to try and continue that and make this ride last as long as possible."
The Royals spent plenty of time in California this season, visiting all three National League teams in Interleague Play in addition to the usual trips to Anaheim and Oakland. In 15 games, Cain went 22-for-58, good for a .379 average.
With Wednesday's homer, Cain has hit seven of his 13 homers this season in California, including six in the June nine-game trip through San Diego, San Francisco and Anaheim.
"I was talking to Hos [Eric Hosmer] about that, and I was like, 'The West Coast has definitely been kind to me,'" Cain said while laughing. "I feel like I've hit all of my homers out here. It was a good West Coast trip this year."