A week ago, a lot of Royals fans were anticipating a Felipe P..."/> A week ago, a lot of Royals fans were anticipating a Felipe P..."/>

Royals snap 4-game skid with 2-1 win in Greinke’s Return


A week ago, a lot of Royals fans were anticipating a Felipe Paulino and Zack Greinke matchup in Greinke’s return to Kansas City. Those hopes ended last Wednesday when Paulino, who’s easily been the best starting pitcher on the Royals’ staff since he came off the DL on May 5th, left the game in the 1st inning with a groin pull and then was placed on the 15-Day DL two days later.

Instead it was Luis Mendoza going up against the former Royal and the Milwaukee Brewers. In front of 24,258 fans, it was Mendoza, not Greinke, who had a no-hitter going into the 7th inning. With no outs in the 7th, Mendoza’s no-no was broken up by reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun on a hard hit hopper to Mike Moustakas, whose throw sailed over first baseman Eric Hosmer, although it very likely would not have been in time to get Braun anyways.

Zack Greinke returned to Kauffman Stadium and received mostly cheers from the KC faithful as he took the hill. But it was Alex Gordon who welcomed Greinke back with a leadoff homerun into the right field fountains on a 3-2 count. It was only Greinke’s 3rd homerun allowed this season and it was Gordon’s first homerun in 150 at-bats. Just like that, it was 1-0. And it remained that way until the 7th inning when Mendoza allowed his first hit to Braun, who reached third base on the errant throw by Moustakas and another error on Chris Getz’s throw that got past Alcides Escobar at second.

Mendoza then walked the next batter and that was it for him. He went 6 innings, allowing one earned run on one hit and two walks, while striking out four on 74 pitches. Aaron Crow replaced Mendoza and got Taylor Green to fly out to Alex Gordon in left, who then threw out Ryan Braun at home for his 5th assist of the season. Rickie Weeks then blooped a 2-out RBI single into shallow left center, scoring Aramis Ramirez from 2nd to tie the game at one.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, once again Alex Gordon came through with a leadoff double off Brewers’ reliever Francisco Rodriguez. With one out and Gordon at 3rd, Billy Butler delivered with the clutch RBI single up the middle to give the Royals a 2-1 lead going into the 9th. It was Butler’s first RBI in 9 games.

Jonathan Broxton made it interesting in the top of 9th as usual, but eventually got out of the jam and notched his 15th save in 17 chances to give the Royals the 2-1 victory.

Zack Greinke went 7 innings, giving up just one run on six hits and striking out eight on 108 pitches in his return to Kansas City. Gordon’s leadoff homerun was the only run the Royals could manufacture off Greinke, who has struggled on the road this season with a 7.03 ERA and a .369 opponents BA off him. He looked comfortable back in his old stomping grounds tonight however, and he was going up against a struggling Royals lineup.

The Royals improve to 25-34, 9 games under .500 and 8 games behind the first place Chicago White Sox.

In other Royals news, GM Dayton Moore in an interview on MLB Network today said that CF. Lorenzo Cain should return right after the All-Star break. And in other good news, Royals’ beat writer Bob Dutton says that C. Salvador Perez could be ready to return to the big league team as early as next week if he has no setbacks.

Earlier today, second baseman Johnny Giavotella was optioned back to Omaha to make room for Chris Getz, who returned to the lineup tonight. And after the game, manager Ned Yost revealed that Jonathan Sanchez will come off the 15-Day DL after 3 rehab starts in Omaha to start game two of the series tomorrow night. It will be Sanchez’s first start since May 7th.

NEXT: Game 2 of series vs. Milwaukee Brewers (28-33)

WHEN: Wednesday, June 13th, 2012


WHERE: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports KC/KCSP 610AM

PROJECTED STARTERS: KC – Jonathan Sanchez (1-2, 6.75 ERA, 1.86 WHIP) MIL – Randy Wolf (2-5, 5.45 ERA, 1.63 WHIP)