|Kansas City (11-10) «||0||1||3||2||4||1||0||0||x||11||15||2|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Zack Greinke talked last winter about a pitcher reaching that perfect blend, where physical ability exactly matches mental ability.
So with a 5-0 record after five starts and a microscopic ERA, is he there?
"I'm trying to get to that," he said. "But not yet."
The Kansas City right-hander is close, though. He gave up an earned run for the first time in 43 innings, but Billy Butler backed him up with two homers Wednesday night and the Kansas City Royals pounded 11 extra-base hits in an 11-3 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Vernon Wells' RBI single with two outs in the first produced the first earned run off Greinke (5-0) since last September, a span of six starts. After throwing complete games his two previous starts, Greinke went seven innings, allowing five hits and two runs with two walks and eight strikeouts. He leads the AL with 44 strikeouts.
His ERA climbed from 0.00 to 0.50.
"Usually, two outs, anyone on base, I feel like I could finish it," Greinke said. "But I threw some pitches right where I wanted to and Vernon Wells, I usually consider him a guy who would chase a good slider. But he did a great job. I guess he just said, `I'm going to let any fastball go by me and I'm just hitting a straight slider,' and he won the game out of that."
Wells paid homage to the only pitcher in Royals history to post a 5-0 April.
"He was able to throw every pitch for a strike," Wells said. "He keeps you off balance. He'll blow you away with a 95 [mph] if he wants to. He was dominant, as he has been all year."
Butler, hitting .193 when the game began, was 4-for-5 with two homers, a double, four RBI and four runs scored. He homered, doubled and homered in three at-bats off left-hander Brian Tallet (1-1), who was charged with 10 runs on 11 hits in four-plus innings.
"I really didn't do anything different," said Butler. "I've been hitting the ball hard lately and it just hasn't been working out. But it's a long season and it always evens out. I've got to keep it going, but still enjoy tonight. It felt awesome. I picked up some guys who have been picking me up."
Marco Scutaro doubled leading off against Greinke. After Aaron Hill and Alex Rios struck out, Wells dropped an RBI single into right-center. Before that, the only run off Greinke this year was unearned, off a throwing error by shortstop Aviles.
"I was very impressed with [Toronto's] at-bats in the first inning," said Royals manager Trey Hillman. "I felt like they had a very good approach. They had quality at-bats against Zack."
Greinke gave up another run in the third when Scutaro walked leading off and eventually scored from third on a double-play grounder.
Greinke, whose 43 innings without an earned run are a club record, joined former Los Angeles Dodger great Fernando Valenzuela as the only pitchers since the early 1900s to not allow an earned run through their first four starts of a season.
"If anything, he showed he's human," said Hillman. "He left a couple of pitches a little bit up that he normally buries. But to be able to square up a slider on Zack with the velocity, even if it's a little bit up, is very impressive. He had a very good outing."
|Although Zack Greinke loses his streak, he becomes the first Royal to go 5-0 in April. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Marco Scutaro, SS||2||2||1||0||1||0||0||.274|
|John McDonald, SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.111|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||4||1||2||0||0||1||1||.376|
|Alex Rios, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.237|
|Vernon Wells, CF||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||.281|
|Jose Bautista, CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.342|
|Adam Lind, DH||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.303|
|Scott Rolen, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.317|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.250|
|Rod Barajas, C||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.299|
|Travis Snider, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.259|
|2B - Marco Scutaro (3, Greinke), Rod Barajas (7, Greinke)|
|RBI - Vernon Wells (13)|
|2-OUT RBI - Vernon Wells (5)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|PB - Rod Barajas (2)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Brian Tallet (L,1-1)||4||11||10||10||3||2||3||6.45|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brian Tallet 93-59, Shawn Camp 35-20, Jason Frasor 20-13, Bill Murphy 10-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Tallet 4-6, Shawn Camp 5-1, Jason Frasor 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Brian Tallet 26, Shawn Camp 9, Jason Frasor 4, Bill Murphy 3|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Coco Crisp, CF||5||1||2||0||0||1||0||.247|
|David DeJesus, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.216|
|Willie Bloomquist, LF||4||2||2||0||1||0||1||.333|
|Mark Teahen, 3B||5||1||1||2||0||0||4||.320|
|Jose Guillen, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.207|
|Mitch Maier, RF-CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Billy Butler, 1B||5||4||4||4||0||0||0||.242|
|Mike Jacobs, DH||3||1||2||1||2||0||0||.250|
|Alberto Callaspo, 2B||4||1||2||1||0||0||1||.375|
|Mike Aviles, SS||3||1||2||2||0||0||2||.205|
|a- Tony Pena Jr., PH-SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Miguel Olivo, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.178|
|a-flied out for Aviles in the 6th|
|2B - Coco Crisp 2 (6, Tallet, Camp), Billy Butler (4, Tallet), Mike Jacobs (5, Camp), Alberto Callaspo 2 (7, Tallet, Tallet), Mike Aviles (3, Tallet)|
|3B - Mike Aviles (1, Tallet)|
|HR - Mark Teahen (3, Tallet), Billy Butler 2 (2, Tallet, Tallet)|
|RBI - Mark Teahen 2 (9), Billy Butler 4 (7), Mike Jacobs (13), Alberto Callaspo (6), Mike Aviles 2 (7)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mark Teahen 2 (4), Billy Butler 2 (3), Mike Jacobs (2)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Teahen-Callaspo-Butler, Pena-Callaspo-Butler|
|E - Mike Aviles (2, Throwing), Tony Pena Jr. (1, Throwing)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Zack Greinke (W,5-0)||7||5||2||2||2||8||0||0.50|
|Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 111-70, Jamey Wright 15-9, Juan Cruz 19-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 4-9, Jamey Wright 2-0, Juan Cruz 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 28, Jamey Wright 4, Juan Cruz 5|
|Attendance - 10619|
|Game Time - 2:52|
|Temperature - 61|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Adrian Johnson|