Royals rally for 2 HRs against Frieri in 9th
Zack Greinke threw 109 pitches in holding the Kansas Royals
scoreless for 8 1-3 innings.
Ernesto Frieri then needed just four pitches to ruin Greinke’s
spectacular outing and hurt the Los Angeles Angels’ playoff
Billy Butler hit a two-run homer and Salvador Perez followed
with the game-winner as the Royals rallied to hand the Los Angeles
Angels a stunning 3-2 loss on Saturday night.
Frieri (3-1) replaced Greinke with one out in the ninth after
Alex Gordon singled. Butler homered to center on Frieri’s first
pitch to tie it. Three pitches later, Perez hit a flyball off the
left-field pole for his first career walkoff homer.
”This ballpark can play funny sometimes,” Butler said. ”I
knew that one was gone. We knew we were looking for a fastball. I
told Sal on deck, `You’d better not be late’ and neither of us was
All Greinke could do was watch the dramatic turn of events.
”It was pretty amazing,” Greinke said. ”I don’t think I’ve
ever seen back-to-back homers to walk off like that. I don’t know
if it’s ever happened. You don’t see that I think ever.
”It’s part of baseball,” Greinke added. ”Ernie’s got a great
fastball. Butler is a good fastball hitter. Yesterday he got it by
them. He threw his best pitch to both of those guys and it just
didn’t work out.”
Greinke gave up just five singles, walked two and struck out
three in 8 1-3 innings. He has allowed seven runs and 24 hits in 37
innings for a 1.70 ERA in his past five starts.
Greinke, who has thrown up to 118 pitches in a game this year
and at least 103 pitches in all 10 of his Angels starts, said he
could have finished.
”Yeah, but I mean I’m not going to second guess,” Greinke
said. ”I think he’s (Mike Scioscia) probably the best manager in
baseball at least from the outside looking in and so far being
here. He’s smarter than me.”
Greinke has not pitched a complete game since 2009 when he won
the American League Cy Young Award while with the Royals.
”We were getting to that point where I wanted to give them a
different look,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on pulling
Greinke. ”Obviously it didn’t work. Zack was getting near 110
pitches. Ernie just hit a couple of bats with fastballs. He left
them up, middle in and those guys didn’t miss them.”
The Angels entered the day 2 1/2 games back of Baltimore and New
York for the second wild-card spot in the AL
”Anytime you lose a game late it’s a heavier page to turn, but
we have to come out tomorrow,” Scioscia said. ”We’re at the point
in the season where everything changes, inning to inning, pitch to
Kendrys Morales, who homered for the second straight game, hit
an 0-1 pitch from Jeremy Guthrie to right leading off the Angels’
fifth for the first run.
Guthrie, who was 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA in his previous seven
starts, faced the minimum number of batters the first four innings.
He gave up a fourth inning leadoff single to Mike Trout, but picked
him off first. Guthrie left after eight innings, allowing two runs
on five hits.
”I thought early my fastball was good,” Guthrie said. ”I left
a fastball up to Morales, but I got some groundballs and we played
good defense. The majority of your games are against tough lineups.
When you go up against that you anticipate a dog fight.”
Kelvin Herrera (3-3) replaced Guthrie and picked up the win with
a scoreless ninth.
Greinke, who was acquired from Milwaukee in a trade on July 27
trade, pitched out of a first inning jam.
Alcides Escobar, who had two of the hits off Greinke, singled
with one out to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11
games. Escobar advanced to third on Gordon’s groundball single to
Escobar was out at the plate when he attempted to score on
Butler’s grounder to third baseman Alberto Callaspo. Perez’s
grounder to Callaspo ended the inning and threat.
The Angels added a run in the eighth, when Vernon Wells led off
with a single and advanced to third on two groundball outs. After
Trout walked, Torii Hunter laced a run-scoring single to right that
Francoeur apparently lost in the lights as it glanced off the heel
of his glove. Hunter leads the American League with a .349 average
since the All-Star break and has 16 RBIs in his past 17 games.
NOTES: RHP Ervin Santana might be pushed back a few days in the
Angels rotation after being struck in the arm by Josh Donaldson’s
liner in Wednesday’s start against Oakland. ”Ervin just got smoked
on the forearm,” Scioscia said. ”We might take a couple of days
with him. Ervin’s going to get the ball; he’s going to pitch. It’s
set him back a little bit as to when he’s going to throw his `pen.
He’ll throw a couple of light things. He’ll probably throw this
weekend and then we’ll see where he is.” . Royals 2B Johnny
Giavotella committed two errors. The Royals had committed just five
errors in their previous 18 games. .This series closes Sunday with
the Royals starting rookie LHP Will Smith, who pitched seven
scoreless innings Tuesday in a victory at Minnesota. RHP Dan Haren
will start for the Angels.