KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Zack Greinke's statistics say he's been dominant all season. His lack of wins against the American League over the past couple of months tells a different story.
Greinke earned his first win over an American League club since May 26, Mike Jacobs and Billy Butler each had three hits and drove in three runs and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 12-6 on Saturday night.
Greinke was 0-5 and the Royals were winless in his previous nine starts against AL teams before going seven innings and allowing three runs on seven hits for his first victory since June 28 at Pittsburgh. He struck out five and ranks second in the AL with 167. He league-leading ERA rose to 2.43.
"I know that's all that matters, but I don't focus a whole lot on wins cause you can't really control them completely," Greinke said. "Just like today, I pitched terrible and we won. Winning today really wasn't me, it was everyone. When we got a couple of runs lead, it makes it a lot easier to pitch, so you can attack guys. You're just a little more free out there."
Butler had three doubles and every Royals starter had at least one hit and scored a run. Jacobs and Miguel Olivo hit back-to-back home runs in a four-run fourth.
Greinke gave up all of his runs in the second and after that the A's had just three hits and no runner made it past second base off him over the next five innings.
"I pitched terrible the second inning," Greinke said. "The rest of the way there were still some line drives hit and it was a solid played game behind me and that helped out."
Greinke threw 46 pitches in the first two innings.
"We had him where we wanted," A's manager Bob Geren said. "His pitch count was way up and we were getting good swings. Then he started hitting his spots. When they went ahead I'm sure it gave him a lot of extra life. When they got him a lot of runs, he just cruised."
A's right-hander Clayton Mortensen (0-1), who was making his first big league start, gave up eight runs on eight hits and three walks in four-plus innings, after striking out five of the first eight batters he faced.
"Adrenalin was a big part, for sure," Mortensen said. "My slider was the only good pitch I could throw for a strike, which is a negative because you don't really want to show them that pitch too much early on. I never could get a good feel for my fastball and I fell behind in a lot of counts, which, with these guys, is setting yourself up for disaster. It's all kind of a blur."
Jacobs homered into the right-field fountains with Alberto Callaspo aboard in the four-run fourth. Olivo homered to center four pitches later. The two share the club lead with 15 home runs. It was the fourth time this year the Royals have hit consecutive home runs. Jacobs also had an RBI single in the eighth and is 7 for 11 in his past four games.
"Back-to-back home runs are always exciting," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "It's been pretty exciting to see the good adjustments Jacobs has made. If he's hitting, it gives us a chance to drive the ball and score more runs."
The Royals chased Mortensen, who was acquired July 24 from St. Louis as part of the Matt Holliday trade, in the fifth. Edgar Gonzalez replaced Mortensen after Butler led off the inning with a double and Mark Teahen had a bunt single. Callaspo had an RBI single and Teahen scored on a wild pitch.
Butler also added RBI doubles in the sixth and eighth innings. His three doubles give him 36, tied for second in the AL.
- RHP Gil Meche, who is one of six Royals on the disabled list, threw 85 pitches in five innings Saturday in a minor league rehab start with Triple-A Omaha against Las Vegas. He allowed one run on three hits, walked three and struck out two.
- The A's placed LHP Dallas Braden on the disabled list with a left foot rash and recalled OF Aaron Cunningham, who was hitting .300 in 65 games with Triple-A Sacramento.