for this game

Greinke, Royals baffle slumping Athletics

Jul 29, 2008 - 6:18 AM By Al Barba PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Zack Greinke recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts and Jose Guillen and Alex Gordon each clubbed two-run home runs as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics, 4-2, in the opener of a three-game series on Monday.

Greinke (8-7) allowed two runs and seven hits over 7 1/3 innings as he won for the first time since June 24 - a span of six starts - while sending the A's to their eighth loss in 10 games since the All-Star break.

"He (Greinke) was outstanding," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "He located his fastball much better and against their left-handed hitters, he was mixing in a good curveball and, at times, a slider and a changeup. I felt like he still had enough in the gas tank on a cool night to finish it up."

The 24-year-old righthander held Oakland to five hits and one run over seven innings before issuing a one-out walk and back-to-back singles to Kurt Suzuki and Ryan Sweeney that produced a run and ended his night.

Ramon Ramirez came on and struck out Jack Cust before retiring rookie Carlos Gonzalez on a groundball to end the inning.

"He did a great job, coming in and getting the strikeout and the groundball in a very tight situation," Hillman said.

Joakim Soria pitched the ninth to record his 28th save and equaled the single-season record for a Mexican-born pitcher, matching the mark of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Juan Acevedo in 2002.

"We scored some runs early that gave me a nice cushion to attack hitters and I was able to do that until the last inning (eighth) when I walked the leadoff batter for no reason at all," Greinke said. "I got ahead and was able to attack hitters better. I got a nice double play early in the game and the bullpen came in and did a nice job."

Since the All-Star break, Oakland's pitching has been susceptible to the home run, as it has allowed 15 in 10 games, and Monday was no different as Athletics starter Dallas Braden (2-1) was the latest victim.

The lefthander yielded a two-out shot to Guillen in the first and was tagged a second time in the sixth when Gordon belted his 12th home run of the season over the left-center field wall that staked Kansas City to a 4-1 lead.

"The first one to me was a little more crucial because nobody likes to start out a ballgame (trailing) 2-0 without their chance (at bat) and that's how it was for our guys tonight," Braden said. "It was 2-0 before they got a bat in their hand and nobody likes playing from behind.



"You try to keep yourself in the ballgame to maintain the bullpen and its longevity. Maintain a good atmosphere in the dugout and, ultimately, just go out there and efficiently execute your gameplan and, for the most part, I was happy with it."

Guillen's homer - his first since June 23 - was significant as it halted a 2-for-27 skid for the Royals' cleanup hitter and came a day after he was held out of the lineup Sunday with a left groin injury.

The injury forced him to leave the ball game after the sixth inning.

"I could hardly move around out there," said Guillen, while not offering any specifics on his availability for Tuesday's game. "I was just hoping the ball wouldn't be hit to me."

Braden worked 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts, matching a career high.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 4 11 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - ZACK GREINKE, RAMON RAMIREZ (8TH), JOAKIM SORIA (9TH) AND JOHN
    BUCK
    OAK - DALLAS BRADEN, SANTIAGO CASILLA (7TH), ALAN
    EMBREE (8TH) AND KURT SUZUKI

    HOME RUN

    Jul 29 12:44 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN SWEENEY SCORED ERIC PATTERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R SWEENEY ON FIRST, K SUZUKI ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 4
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J CUST (.222, 0-FOR-3)

    Royals 4, Athletics 2  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 29 12:25 AM
  • 26
    roots
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Royals 4, Athletics 1  Top 7, 0 OutsJul 28 11:52 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX GORDON (12) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF DALLAS BRADEN SCORED BILLY BUTLER.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 4, OAKLAND 1
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J BUCK (.249, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals 4, Athletics 1  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 28 11:36 PM
  • 21
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 21 roots

    Royals 2, Athletics 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 28 11:20 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS GONZALEZ SCORED KURT SUZUKI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GONZALEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.229, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals 2, Athletics 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 28 11:10 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 2 2 3 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: KAN - ZACK GREINKE
    OAK - DALLAS BRADEN

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: E PATTERSON (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
    K SUZUKI (.294, 5 HR, 31 RBI)
    R SWEENEY (.308, 3 HR, 34

    Royals 2, Athletics 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 28 10:14 PM