Kansas City (10-14) at Tampa Bay (17-7)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 80° F
  • Game info: 1:40 pm EDT Sun May 2, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

For Zack Greinke(notes), April 2009 was memorable. A year later, the same month was forgettable.

The winless Greinke takes the mound as the last-place Kansas City Royals close their series against the first-place Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, trying to take three of four at Tropicana Field.

After losing 11-1 on Thursday, Kansas City has held the Rays to four runs and 11 hits over the next two games. The Royals (10-14) recorded a 4-2 win Saturday after Alberto Callaspo(notes) hit a two-run double in the 11th inning.

Callaspo, who boosted his batting average to .301, is 4 for 11 with four RBIs in the series.

Tampa Bay (17-7), which still owns the majors’ best record, was 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. It had two runners on with no out in the 11th, but Joakim Soria(notes) struck out the side to end the threat.

“At the end of the day, we expect to be on top,” Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena(notes) said. “We expect good things to happen. Let’s put this one behind us and we start fresh (Sunday).”

The Royals, meanwhile, are looking to win their first series at Tropicana Field since 2004—and hope to give Greinke a well-deserved win.

Greinke finished April with an 0-2 record and 2.56 ERA after going 5-0 with a 0.50 ERA during the same month last year. The right-hander went on to win 16 games and the AL Cy Young Award.

Though he’s allowed only 12 runs in five starts so far, Greinke’s last outing may have been the most disheartening. He surrendered six hits over seven scoreless innings against Seattle on Tuesday, but didn’t get a decision in the 3-2 loss.

The Royals have dropped four of Greinke’s five starts.

“I feel like we probably should have won another five games than we have this year,” Greinke told the Royals’ official website.

While Greinke is looking to get May off to a better start, facing Tampa Bay - the only AL team he hasn’t beaten - may not help. In 2009, he was 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA in two starts against the Rays, and gave up six runs and a season-high 10 hits in five innings of a 10-4 loss at Tropicana Field.

Over his career, Greinke is 0-3 with a 4.24 ERA in nine appearances against Tampa Bay, including six starts. Jason Bartlett(notes), who is batting .154 in the series, is 5 for 10 against Greinke.

While trying to avoid their first three-game skid of the year, the Rays will turn Wade Davis(notes) (2-1, 3.68).

Following one of his best outings of 2010, the right-hander faltered some in his last start yet still got the win. After allowing two hits in six scoreless innings en route to a victory over the White Sox on April 21, Davis gave up four runs and seven hits over five innings of an 8-6 victory over Oakland on Tuesday.

Davis has never faced Kansas City.

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Starting Pitchers

Z. Greinke LAD vs. W. Davis KC
10-14 Record 12-10
4.17 ERA 4.07
181 K 113
55 BB 62
1.25 WHIP 1.35


Sunday, May 2