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Royals' Greinke tosses another gem, K's eight in complete game

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Probably the last thing Justin Verlander wanted to do was make Zack Greinke a better pitcher.

But unwittingly, he did.

Greinke paid close attention to the way Verlander shut out Kansas City through seven innings in an easy Detroit win on Monday. Then the Royals ace took the best stuff he's had all year to the mound on Tuesday night and tossed a six-hitter in a 6-1 victory over the Tigers.

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"I've been getting worried that teams are going to make adjustments," said Greinke, who leads the majors in ERA, complete games and shutouts. "But I was watching Verlander pitch and even if I knew exactly what he was going to do, I was like, `I couldn't hit him.' So just stay with what you do and stop thinking so much.

"I think it helped me a lot for today."

Greinke (8-1) had such good command, he could hardly believe the Tigers scored a run in the first.

"It was one of those days where almost everything was working and they put up a run, so I was like, `Just keep it right there. They can't do too much with you if you keep doing that."'

He wound up with eight strikeouts and no walks while his ERA rose from 0.82 to 0.84. In two starts against the Tigers this year, he has allowed one earned run in two complete-game wins.

Greinke threw his fifth complete game this season and the eighth of his career, joining Toronto's Roy Halladay as the only eight-game winners in the majors.

"He's got a fastball that he can throw from 93 [mph] and he can hump it up to close to 100 if he wants to," Detroit's Brandon Inge said. "He has a sinker if he wants to throw it. He has a changeup. The fun part comes when he has a slow curve and he can make it a little faster."

With pinpoint control of his varied pitches, Greinke has allowed only seven earned runs in 75 innings this season.

"He's got a slider that he throws at variable speeds and variable angles," Inge said. "He's one of the very few guys I've seen that can manipulate the ball the way he wants to."

Mitch Maier came off the bench and drove in three runs and Jose Guillen homered and drove in two more for the Royals, who crept back to within three games of the first-place Tigers in the AL Central.

Edwin Jackson (4-3), who had won three straight starts, went 6 1/3 innings and gave up four runs, two of which were unearned because of his two throwing errors to first.

Jackson had allowed only one baserunner until Miguel Olivo singled up the middle leading off the sixth. The pitcher then threw wildly to first on Luis Hernandez's sacrifice bunt, putting runners at second and third. Maier, who came into the game in the fifth when center fielder Coco Crisp went out with a sore shoulder, put the Royals on top 2-1 with a two-run single.

In the seventh, Alberto Callaspo singled leading off and sped to second when Jackson threw wildly to first on an attempted pickoff. Hernandez's single put him at third and he slid under catcher Gerald Laird's sweeping tag to make it 4-1 on Maier's grounder to first baseman Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera, the major leagues' leading hitter, was 1-for-3 against Greinke and hit into a double play after Magglio Ordonez's RBI single in the first.

"With Cabrera, even if you make your pitch, he's one of the few guys who can still do damage," Greinke said. "I wasn't really worried about walking anyone. After I got going, I could feel the command. I wasn't afraid to throw a ball 2-2 to get to 3-2. I wasn't afraid 1-0 to throw a curveball for a strike, or behind the count to throw any pitch. When you're doing that, it makes pitching a lot easier and hitting a lot harder."

Notes

  • Detroit trainer Kevin Rand said an MRI on the right shoulder of Carlos Guillen revealed "no major structural damage." Guillen, the Tigers' All-Star representative last season, has been on the disabled list since May 5.
 
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 (8-1) gets 'rocked' for a run on six hits. His ERA is now an 'astronomical' 0.84. (AP)
Zack Greinke (8-1) gets 'rocked' for a run on six hits. His ERA is now an 'astronomical' 0.84. (AP)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

Z. Greinke
IP 9.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 0
K 8
Kansas City

J. Guillen
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4000010 .244
Placido Polanco, 2B4120000 .265
Magglio Ordonez, RF4011021 .265
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3010011 .377
Jeff Larish, DH3000021 .222
Brandon Inge, 3B3010010 .281
Clete Thomas, LF3000001 .257
Gerald Laird, C3010010 .248
Adam Everett, SS3000001 .296
Totals3016108  
Batting
2B - Placido Polanco (14, Greinke)
RBI - Magglio Ordonez (19)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
E - Edwin Jackson 2 (2, Throwing)
Detroit Tigers
Edwin Jackson (L,4-3) 6.1742120 2.58
Nate Robertson 0.1000000 5.11
Brandon Lyon 1.1222101 6.43
IBB - Teahen by Brandon Lyon
Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 89-57, Nate Robertson 7-3, Brandon Lyon 27-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 10-7, Nate Robertson 1-1, Brandon Lyon 2-2
Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 27, Nate Robertson 2, Brandon Lyon 7
Kansas City Royals
Coco Crisp, CF2000010 .233
    Mitch Maier, CF2113000 .324
David DeJesus, LF3000002 .238
Billy Butler, 1B4010002 .284
Jose Guillen, RF4122000 .298
    Willie Bloomquist, RF0000000 .298
Mike Jacobs, DH3010100 .262
    Tug Hulett, PR-DH0100000 .000
Mark Teahen, 3B3010102 .262
Alberto Callaspo, 2B4110002 .308
Miguel Olivo, C4111011 .235
Luis Hernandez, SS3110001 .182
Totals3269622  
Batting
2B - Mike Jacobs (8, Lyon), Mark Teahen (11, Jackson)
HR - Jose Guillen (4, Lyon)
SH - David DeJesus (5), Luis Hernandez (1)
RBI - Mitch Maier 3 (3), Jose Guillen 2 (22), Miguel Olivo (13)
PK - Billy Butler (2, Jackson)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Hernandez-Callaspo-Butler, Greinke-Hernandez-Butler, Callaspo-Hernandez-Butler
E - Billy Butler (1, Dropped fly)
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke (W,8-1) 9611080 0.84
WP - Zack Greinke (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 116-79
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 10-6
Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 30
Game Information
Attendance - 16366
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Angel Campos, First Base - Bill Hohn, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Paul Emmel