Royals 4, Indians 0
CLEVELAND (AP)—For three days during the All-Star break, Zack Greinke hardly moved a muscle. He wasn’t tired, just tired of losing.
Refreshed from some time off, Greinke pitched seven shutout innings for his second win since the break and Emil Brown homered off unlucky Cleveland starter Kevin Millwood, sending the Kansas City Royals to a 4-0 victory over the Indians on Tuesday night.
Greinke (3-11) allowed four hits while improving to 2-0 in the season’s unofficial second half after dragging into the break with a 1-11 mark. The right-hander walked one and struck out four.
Greinke went into the mid-season break riding a five-game losing streak. He thought about taking a three-day trip somewhere before deciding to stay home to rest his body and mind.
“I sat by the couch or by the pool for three straight days and that probably freshened me up,” he said. “I think it helped a little bit.”
Ambiorix Burgos worked the eighth and Mike MacDougal finished the combined five-hitter as the Royals posted their second shutout in three games—the first time they have done that on the road since 1992.
Brown hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Millwood (3-9), who again didn’t get any run support from the Indians. Cleveland has been shut out seven times this season, including three times in the past six games and in all of Millwood’s past three starts.
The Indians, who have lost 10 of 12 since July 5, have scored just two runs in Millwood’s four starts this month. He came in with the unfortunate distinction of getting the least run support of any pitcher in the majors with at least 10 starts.
Cleveland is averaging just 2.53 runs for Millwood.
“It’s not something I can control,” said Millwood, who refused to make any excuses. “I probably deserved the loss. I put myself into too many jams. I got out of some but I didn’t pitch very well.”
Greinke only had to work out of trouble twice as the Indians got just one runner to third base against him. Brown in right field, and David DeJesus, each made nice running catches to back Greinke.
“It’s sort of the way I planned it,” Greinke said. “They did a great job.”
Millwood’s defense let him down in the second when left fielder Coco Crisp dropped a sinking liner hit by Matt Stairs. Brown followed by ripping an 0-1 pitch over the left-field wall for his ninth homer and a 2-0 lead.
Millwood kept it a two-run game until the seventh when the Royals scored two. Mark Teahen hit an RBI single and John Buck reached on an error by third baseman Aaron Boone before DeJesus hit an RBI double to end another disappointing result for Millwood, who signed a one-year free agent contract with the Indians.
With the July 31 trading deadline nearing, Millwood’s name is bound to come up in possible deals to a contending team. For now, though, he’s only worried about pitching for the Indians.
“We’re good enough to get into the wild card,” Millwood said. “This is just one of those down times and we have to get through it.”
Millwood allowed two earned runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, the 12th time he has gone at least six innings. The Indians are 2-10 in those starts.
DeJesus is batting .436 (17-for-39) during his 10-game hitting streak. … Indians DH Travis Hafner remained sidelined with dizziness three days after being struck in the face by Chicago’s Mark Buehrle. Hafner said he feels fine until he begins to exercise and then gets woozy. … The Royals have homered in a season-high eight straight games, their longest streak since 11 in a row last Sept. 17-27. … Graffanino was pursued by the Red Sox when he was a free agent after the 2003 season. … Dubois also inherited Gerut’s No. 9 as well as his locker stall. … Ambres will join the Royals in Cleveland on Wednesday. Cedeno will be optioned to Double-A Wichita.