Despite another masterful performance, Zack Greinke ended up with a no-decision.
Thanks to Miguel Olivo and David DeJesus, the Kansas City Royals ended up with their fifth straight win.
Olivo homered with one out in the 12th inning after DeJesus saved the game for Kansas City with two accurate throws to the plate from left field, and the Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 2-1 on Friday night.
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“It’s a great win for us,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “The only thing that would have been better if Zack had gotten (the win.)”
Olivo, who drove in the Royals‘ first run with a fourth-inning groundout, hit an 0-2 pitch from Jose Veras into the bleachers in left field for his 19th home run of the season.
The Royals wouldn’t have been in a position to win in the 12th if DeJesus hadn’t thrown out the potential winning runs in the ninth and the 11th.
Both runners were trying to score from second base on singles by Jhonny Peralta. DeJesus nailed Asdrubal Cabrera on Peralta’s one-out single in the ninth. He did it again in the 11th, throwing out Michael Brantley on Peralta’s two-out single. Olivo received both throws in plenty of time and blocked the plate.
“It’s cool,” DeJesus said. “It’s one of those things where you do it, move on and have fun watching the other team complain about it.”
DeJesus is second in the AL with 13 outfield assists.
“The coaches were telling us to play in,” he said. “The first one was easier. I got the ball and threw. The second one was harder. I kind of bobbled it and it got stuck in my fingers, but I ended up getting it there.”
Cabrera and Brantley were both waved home by third-base coach Joel Skinner.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “You’ve got two chances to win the game. Anytime you have a chance to win the game, you take that chance. The guy out there has to field it, transfer it and throw it and the other guy has to catch it. And it’s going to have to be a good throw. Tip your cap to DeJesus for two fantastic plays.”
It was yet another way to lose for the Indians, who have dropped nine of 11.
“It’s another first for me,” Wedge said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the same guy get two potential game-winning hits and have the same guy throw the guy out both times.”
Jamey Wright (2-5) pitched two innings for the win. Joakim Soria pitched the 12th for his 25th save in 28 opportunities.
Veras (4-3) got the loss.
Greinke held the Indians to one run in seven innings, but ended up with his eighth no-decision of the season, the first Kansas City has won. He has received 29 runs in his combined 15 starts of losses and no-decisions.
Greinke, a candidate to win the AL Cy Young award despite his 13-8 record for a woeful team, was masterful again in holding Cleveland to four hits.
“I try to pitch,” he said when asked if he’s feeling frustrated about his win total preventing him from winning postseason awards. “Hopefully, it works out. I can’t focus on that.”
The right-hander hadn’t allowed an earned run in 23 consecutive innings until the Indians tied the game in the seventh. Shin-Soo Choo tripled off the left-field wall with one out.
It looked as if Greinke would get out of the inning when Peralta popped out, but Travis Hafner lined a 2-1 pitch to left for a tying single. DeJesus attempted a diving catch, but the ball hit off his glove and rolled away.
Grienke blamed himself for the run that tied the game.
“I got behind on Choo and it hurt me,” he said. “I don’t know what Hafner was doing. It seems like he’s trying to go the other way more than he has in the past.”
Greinke, who struck out six and didn’t walk a batter, didn’t allow a runner to reach second base until the seventh. The run snapped a 15-inning scoreless streak for Cleveland.
Greinke was given an extra day’s rest after throwing a career-high 125 pitches against Los Angeles on Saturday. He is 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA in five starts against the Indians this season.
Cleveland starter Justin Masterson allowed one run and four hits in six innings.
RHP Brian Bannister received a second opinion on his ailing shoulder Friday in New York, but manager Trey Hillman did not have any updates. … LHP Lenny DiNardo‘s strong outing against Detroit in his first start of the season on Thursday was enough to earn him a rotation spot over fellow lefty Bruce Chen, who is moving to the bullpen. Chen is 1-6 in nine starts with the Royals.