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Boston at Kansas City

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Boston (89-61)000000010120
Kansas City (63-88) «50000000x591

Royals' Greinke lowers ERA to 2.08 in victory over BoSox

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Trey Hillman thinks Zack Greinke should make room in his trophy case for the Cy Young Award.

Greinke bolstered his Cy Young credentials by holding Boston to two hits in six scoreless innings, leading the Royals to a 5-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.

"I am biased," the Royals manager said. "Part of that bias is I've seen all his starts. I have a very difficult time believing there is anybody better in the major leagues, that's as good a pitcher as Zack Greinke is in the year 2009."

  Playoff Race

Greinke is 3-0 with a 0.26 ERA in his past five starts, yielding18 hits and one earned run in 35 innings. With the stingy stretch, Greinke has lowered his major league-leading ERA to 2.08.

Greinke (15-8) became the first Royals pitcher to win at least 15 games in a season since Paul Byrd won 17 in 2002. Byrd (1-2) was the losing pitcher Tuesday. Greinke has two starts left and knows the Cy Young could be at stake.

"You can't have a bad game," he said. "Any mistakes can cost you."

Greinke's record likely would be more impressive if the Royals gave him better run support. He has failed to earn a win in six starts in which he allowed none or one run.

"He'd be a 20-game winner," Hillman said.

Greinke left his previous start after five scoreless innings at Detroit with a bruised elbow. He was struck by Miguel Cabrera's line drive in the fourth.

"There was no pain," Greinke said. "I was getting kinda tired in the sixth. I didn't feel crisp in the last inning. I thought I was pretty good, but it wasn't amazing. I thought my changeup was as good as it's been all year."

Hillman decided 91 pitches was enough against the Red Sox "with what he had incurred in his last outing with the contusion."

"He was free and easy with his delivery," Hillman said. "In the sixth, I felt like he began to labor just a little bit. With what happened, it just didn't make any sense to push him even to 100 pitches. He pitched a heck of a game."

Dustin Pedroia doubled in the first and Victor Martinez singled in the sixth, extending his hitting streak to 21 games, for the only hits against Greinke. Greinke walked three and struck out five, bringing his season total to 229, which is second in the American League.

"Greinke has everything," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He has velocity. You look up and you see a fastball that's 91 and then you see one that's 97. Then you see a slider, maybe the best slider in the game. I was impressed with his stuff."

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz endorsed Greinke for the Cy Young.

"Why not," Ortiz said. "He's got good numbers for it. If I could vote for the Cy Young Award, I might give one vote to him."

Red Sox slugger Jason Bay said Greinke has "Cy Young stuff."

"There are some other guys who are deserving, but he's probably one of the top two or three guys, no question," Bay said. "He definitely was attacking the zone. He's been doing that to a lot to of other people."

The Royals batted around in a five-run first, which included Alex Gordon's two-run, two-out single. The first five batters reached base off Byrd and all scored. Byrd walked Billy Butler and Mike Jacobs on eight consecutive balls. Jacobs walked with the bases loaded.

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Alberto Callaspo, who had three hits and a walk, singled home Mitch Maier with the second run of the inning.

Byrd settled down after the first, going 6 2/3 innings and not allowing another run. He yielded five runs on nine hits and four walks. Byrd exited in the seventh with the bases loaded after a single and two walks, but Mark Teahen flied out to center to end the inning.

"The first inning wasn't very pretty, but after that he pitched great," Francona said. "Five in the first, that's a big hole to dig out of especially with Greinke pitching."

The Red Sox scored their run without a hit in the eighth off Roman Colon, who walked Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedroia. After a double steal, Ellsbury scored on Martinez's grounder. Ellsbury tops the majors with 64 stolen bases.

Joakim Soria was summoned for the final out after Ortiz walked and Casey Kotchman reached on Butler's error. Soria needed just one pitch to retire Mike Lowell on a fly to center to log his 28th save in 31 opportunities.

Notes

  • Teahen, who had missed the previous 11 games with lower back spasms, and LF David DeJesus, who left after one at-bat Saturday with a sore right ankle, returned to the Royals lineup Tuesday.
  • The Royals are 12-3 in their past 15 games.
  • Pedroia has a 14-game hitting streak, his longest of the season.
  • Royals pitchers have struck out 1,084, one shy of the club record for a season.
 
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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Several Kansas City fans display their appreciation for ace and AL Cy Young candidate Zack Greinke.  (AP)
Several Kansas City fans display their appreciation for ace and AL Cy Young candidate Zack Greinke. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

V. Martinez
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
Kansas City

Z. Greinke
IP 6.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 3
K 5
 
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF3100102 .302
Dustin Pedroia, 2B2010200 .298
Victor Martinez, 1B4011002 .299
Kevin Youkilis, 3B4000024 .305
David Ortiz, DH3000112 .232
Jason Bay, LF4000031 .267
J.D. Drew, RF3000111 .265
Jason Varitek, C2000110 .210
   a- Casey Kotchman, PH1000000 .271
Alex Gonzalez, SS2000012 .237
   b- Josh Reddick, PH1000000 .222
    Jed Lowrie, SS0000000 .158
   c- Mike Lowell, PH1000002 .292
Totals3012169  
a-grounded out for Varitek in the 9th
b-flied out for A. Gonzalez in the 8th
c-flied out for Lowrie in the 9th
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (45, Greinke)
RBI - Victor Martinez (101)
SB - Jacoby Ellsbury (64, 3rd base off Colon/Olivo), Dustin Pedroia (19, 2nd base off Colon/Olivo)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - A. Gonzalez-Martinez
Boston Red Sox
Paul Byrd (L,1-2) 6.2955400 6.04
Manny Delcarmen 0.1000000 4.31
Michael Bowden 1000010 7.88
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 101-60, Manny Delcarmen 2-1, Michael Bowden 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 7-12
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 32, Manny Delcarmen 1, Michael Bowden 3
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, LF3120100 .283
Mitch Maier, CF-RF4120001 .248
Billy Butler, 1B3100102 .299
Mike Jacobs, DH3101102 .229
Alberto Callaspo, 2B-3B3131100 .302
Mark Teahen, RF4001005 .272
    Josh Anderson, CF0000000 .240
Miguel Olivo, C4010002 .251
Alex Gordon, 3B4012012 .227
    Luis Hernandez, 2B0000000 .175
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4000001 .237
Totals3259541  
Batting
RBI - Mike Jacobs (59), Alberto Callaspo (70), Mark Teahen (47), Alex Gordon 2 (18)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon 2 (7)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Billy Butler (10, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke (W,15-8) 6200350 2.08
Roman Colon 2011220 4.72
Jamey Wright 0.2000120 4.50
Joakim Soria (S,28) 0.1000000 2.34
Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 91-53, Roman Colon 31-16, Jamey Wright 17-7, Joakim Soria 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 3-10, Roman Colon 2-2, Jamey Wright 1-0
Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 23, Roman Colon 8, Jamey Wright 4, Joakim Soria 1
Game Information
Attendance - 21228
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Lance Barrett, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Tim McClelland