Zack Greinke, Alex Gordon help Kansas City Royals beat Texas Rangers 8-1
The 23-year-old right-hander allowed five hits in five shutout innings for his first win as a starter since April, and the Royals beat the Texas Rangers 8-1 on Monday night.
Featuring a fastball in the mid-to-high 90s, Greinke (6-5) struck out four without a walk in his 10th start of the season.
Greinke, who opened the season in the rotation before being moved to the bullpen in early May after a series of ineffective starts, hadn’t won as a starter since April 10 at Toronto.
“My stuff’s a lot better,” Greinke said. “People say confidence can bring success, but you have to do good first in order to get confident.”
Manager Buddy Bell moved Greinke back into the rotation on Aug. 24.
“Maybe we should have done it sooner,” Bell said. “The kid keeps throwing good. He maintained his stuff the whole time. He’s where we wanted to take him, and I thought he had a little bit left at the end.”
Mark Teahen, activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, had three hits, including an RBI single in the ninth.
With one more win, the Royals would avoid their fourth straight 100-loss season.
Kansas City has 16 runs in the last two games, and the Royals could have scored even more against the Rangers but they stranded a season-high 16 runners.
“It was one of our better games in just about everything,” Bell said. “We left a lot of guys on base, but it was nice to see us keep scoring. We had pressure on them all night long, and their bullpen has been good all year.”
Gload hit a solo homer in the eighth off Mike Wood to make it 5-0, and Gordon’s two-run single later in the eighth off Wood stretched the lead to 7-0.
Texas had won seven of its previous eight, the Rangers’ best stretch of the season. But they were only able to get one runner as far as third base against Greinke, who’s been considered a star of the future since the Royals drafted him with the sixth overall pick in 2002.
“Greinke is a great talent,” Texas’ Ian Kinsler said. “He’s up there at 96, 97 (mph). He’s got good stuff.”
Kansas City had nine runners against Rangers starter Kameron Loe, who left after three innings due to a sore right elbow. Loe (6-11) walked the bases loaded in the first and Gordon’s two-out, two-run single gave the Royals a 2-0 lead.
Loe said the elbow problems contributed to his first-inning wildness, and could cause him to miss a start.
“I’ve been battling it the last couple of starts,” Loe said. “It’s a sharp pinch before I release the ball on certain pitches. It comes and goes. It definitely contributed to the walks in the first inning. I tried to give us some innings but I couldn’t go any further.”
Loe allowed two runs and five hits, struck out three and walked four.
Greinke was on a tight pitch count and was removed after 82 pitches (55 strikes). … Texas had a season-best five-game home winning streak snapped. … Loe’s four walks were all in the first inning. He threw 68 pitches, 38 strikes. … Loe has lost five of his last six decisions. … The Royals have won five of seven from the Rangers this season. … Kansas City’s David DeJesus had two stolen bases to give him nine for the season, a new career high. … The crowd of 19,214 was the second-smallest at home for the Rangers this season.