Greinke looks to extend his personal winning streak to four while the Royals seek a fifth victory in six games Tuesday when they continue their visit to the Seattle Mariners, the last-place club in the AL West.
Kansas City (37-46) has won eight of 11, batting .327 with runners in scoring position in that stretch. The Royals went 4 for 11 in RBI situations during Monday’s 6-4, 10-inning win over Seattle (34-48) to open this three-game set.
The Royals’ strong stretch also coincides with the resurgence of Greinke (4-8, 3.94 ERA), who is 3-0 with a 3.66 ERA in his last four starts after going 1-8 with a 4.05 ERA in his first 13.
Improved offense has aided the reigning AL Cy Young winner, who’s received 22 total runs of support in his last four outings to match the total from his first 13.
Greinke yielded one run in the first seven innings Wednesday before getting tagged for five in the eighth, but still eked out a 7-6 win over the Chicago White Sox.
“It all happened so fast. He was cruising to that point. Just really cruising,” manager Ned Yost said.
Greinke has had little trouble in seven starts against the Mariners, going 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA and two complete-game victories at Safeco Field, including a one-hitter last Aug. 30.
He threw seven shutout innings at home against Seattle on April 27, but didn’t get a decision in the Royals’ 3-2 victory.
The Mariners had expected to welcome Erik Bedard(notes) back to the rotation Tuesday, but he has been scratched from his anticipated season debut after suffering shoulder soreness during his last bullpen session. His return from a second shoulder surgery in as many years is now uncertain.
“I think it’s a little bit of what he experienced before, a little bit of stiffness in his shoulder,” manager Don Wakamatsu told the Mariners’ official website. “Rather than jump right into the start and hope it goes away, we’ll find out what the doctors say about it. Hopefully they reassure him it’s nothing serious and just a little bit of stiffness.”
The left-hander may not have many chances left to prove he deserves a spot in the rotation. He made a solid case during Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees, yielding two runs in six innings.
Rowland-Smith is 0-1 with a 5.08 ERA in eight games - four starts - against Kansas City. He struggled in his last start against the Royals on April 28, giving up five runs in 5 2-3 innings and not getting a decision in a 6-5 victory.
David DeJesus(notes) connected for a solo homer off Rowland-Smith in that meeting, and is 4 for 12 against him. The Kansas City right fielder enters this contest with a .406 average over his last eight games, a stretch which has raised his season average to .329 - sixth in the AL.