Chicago at Kansas City

Scoreboard
Chi. White Sox (66-87)000000000020
Kansas City (66-86) «00000201x360

Greinke throws two-hit gem as Royals shut out White Sox

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Zack Greinke may have ended the debate over whether he should be a starter or reliever.

Greinke struck out a career-high 10 and pitched two-hit ball for eight innings, leading the Kansas City Royals over the Chicago White Sox 3-0 Thursday.

Greinke (7-6) made his sixth start since rejoining the rotation on Aug. 24 and allowed just one runner past first base.

He began the season as a starter, but after getting hit hard May 6 in a loss at Detroit, he was shifted to the bullpen with a 1-4 record. Greinke worked in relief for nearly the next four months.

"I feel like I'm a starter, but other people make that decision," Greinke said. "The main thing was to get my pitch count down and go deep into the game."

He became the first Kansas City pitcher to reach double digits in strikeouts since Odalis Perez fanned 10 at Boston on Sept. 8 last year.

"That is something I wouldn't have been able to do in the past," Greinke said. "Since I've moved to the bullpen, I've been striking out guys better. Ten is a real lot. I never would have imagined that when the season started, me striking out 10 in a game cause I just couldn't miss that many bats."

Catcher John Buck believes Greinke should remain in the rotation.

"He made a pretty good case for himself," Buck said. "I'm convinced. I had the best seat in the house. There were a lot of dominating pitches on a team that scored 11 runs in one inning (Monday). He was pretty dominant the whole day."

Joakim Soria followed with a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances as Kansas City (66-86) moved back ahead of Chicago (66-87) and out of last place in the AL Central.

"Greinke has an electric fastball," White Sox catcher Toby Hall said. "It just jumped out of his hand, good slider, good curve."

Jon Garland (9-13) gave up three runs and six hits in eight innings. He had been 8-1 with a 2.43 ERA in his previous 11 starts against the Royals.

"You won't see a better pitching duel," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We didn't come close to scoring against Greinke, maybe one time. He pitched well. Garland threw the ball good."

Garland has a 1.80 ERA in his last four starts overall but is 1-3, with the White Sox totaling three runs in the three losses.

"If I give my team a quality start, I feel I'm doing my job," Garland said. "I was throwing everything for a strike. I'm not very overpowering, but when I can throw all my pitches and keep those guys off balance, they couldn't sit on one pitch."

Before a crowd of 10,264, the Royals' third-lowest at home this season, the game was played in 1 hour, 55 minutes -- the fastest nine-inning game for Kansas City since May 10, 2005, at Toronto (1:44).

Kansas City broke a 21-inning scoreless streak with a two-run sixth.

Buck and Tony Pena Jr. hit doubles -- the latter on an 0-2 pitch after Pena twice failed to get down a bunt. David DeJesus grounded out, and Esteban German hit a sacrifice fly.

"It's been a while," Buck said of snapping an 0-for-12 rut with two hits. "It's nice to see one of those hit the outfield grass."

Jerry Owens doubled for Chicago leading off the fourth and Juan Uribe sacrificed, but Jim Thome and Paul Konerko struck out.

"In the bullpen, I've been pitching in tough situations like that," Greinke said. "I kind of figured on how to get out of jams like that, where in the past I might try to do too much. Thome can really hurt you, but he strikes out a lot, too."

Uribe singled leading off the seventh for the other White Sox hit.

Notes

  • Greinke's previous high in strikeouts was eight, set on June 21, 2005, when he lost to Garland and the White Sox.
  • Chicago was blanked for the 11th time, second-most in the AL behind Minnesota (13).
  • 3B Alex Cintron was a late scratch from the White Sox lineup because of a bruised left hand. He was replaced by Andy Gonzalez, who made his 19th start at third base.
  • Gordon was hit by a pitch in the seventh, raising the Royals' total to 85, which leads the majors.
  • White Sox 2B Danny Richar went 0-for-3, ending his career-high eight-game hitting streak.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Zack Greinke fans a career-best 10, making a strong case to rejoin the starting rotation. (AP)
Zack Greinke fans a career-best 10, making a strong case to rejoin the starting rotation. (AP)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

Z. Greinke
IP 8.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 0
K 10
Chicago

J. Garland
IP 8.0
H 6
ER 3
BB 0
K 4
 

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Chicago White Sox
Jerry Owens, CF4010020 .254
Juan Uribe, SS3010000 .229
Jim Thome, DH3000022 .271
Paul Konerko, 1B3000022 .262
Jermaine Dye, RF3000001 .250
Scott Podsednik, LF3000010 .243
Andy Gonzalez, 3B3000020 .188
Danny Richar, 2B3000010 .237
Toby Hall, C2000010 .206
   a- A.J. Pierzynski, PH1000000 .259
Totals28020011  
a-fouled out for Hall in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jerry Owens (8, Greinke)
SH - Juan Uribe (7)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
DP - Uribe-Richar-Konerko
Chicago White Sox
Jon Garland (L,9-13) 8633040 4.42
HBP - Gordon (by Jon Garland)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Garland 78-55
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Garland 7-11
Batters Faced - Jon Garland 29
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF4000012 .267
Esteban German, 2B3001001 .266
Ross Gload, 1B3000000 .291
Mike Sweeney, DH3000010 .260
Alex Gordon, 3B2000010 .256
Emil Brown, RF3010011 .255
Joey Gathright, LF3120002 .309
John Buck, C3120001 .230
Tony Pena, SS2112000 .259
Totals2636304  
Batting
2B - John Buck (18, Garland), Tony Pena (23, Garland)
SF - Esteban German (3), Tony Pena (5)
RBI - Esteban German (35), Tony Pena 2 (43)
SB - Emil Brown (11, 2nd base off Garland/Hall)
PK - Alex Gordon (4, Garland)
Team LOB - 2
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke (W,7-6) 82000100 3.62
Joakim Soria (S,17) 1000010 2.49
Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 76-56, Joakim Soria 7-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 6-8, Joakim Soria 1-1
Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 26, Joakim Soria 3
Game Information
Attendance - 10264
Game Time - 1:55
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - James Hoye