Royals-Mariners Preview

Zack Greinke doesn’t know what his future in Kansas City will

hold. However, the Royals know their ace will have a chance to

continue his success against the Seattle Mariners this week.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner looks to remain perfect

against the Mariners when the Royals try for a fifth straight win

at Safeco Field on Friday night.

This season has not gone nearly as well as 2009 when Greinke

(7-10, 3.97 ERA) went 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA. With the Royals (46-62)

likely headed for a seventh straight losing season, the

right-hander recently said he’s not sure he wants to endure another

rebuilding effort.

“It depends more on the team now,” said Greinke, who has spent

his entire seven-year career in Kansas City. “We’ll see. This is at

least the third full restart/rebuilding phase since I’ve been here.

And, obviously, none of them have worked.”

Though the Royals traded key contributors like Alberto Callaspo,

Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth, and designated veteran Jose

Guillen for assignment on Thursday, they have won four of six.

Greinke is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA in eight starts against the

Mariners, including 1-0 without allowing an earned run in two this

season. He has given up two runs – one earned – in 39 innings over

his last five starts versus Seattle while going 4-0. Three of those

wins were at Safeco, where he allowed an unearned run and two hits

while striking out nine in seven innings of a 3-2 win July 6.

Greinke held the Mariners without a run for the first two

innings to set the franchise record with 31 straight scoreless

innings against one team.

“Dominant,” Ichiro Suzuki told the Mariners’ official website.

“That’s all I have to say.”

In his last outing, Greinke gave up three runs in eight innings

of a 4-3 win at Baltimore to improve to 6-2 with a 3.88 ERA in his

last nine starts.

Kansas City was limited to six runs while dropping two of three

in Oakland this week but could bounce back in Seattle, having

scored 16 runs in a three-game sweep there July 5-7.

The Royals will have to do it without Guillen, who led the team

with 16 homers and 62 RBIs but is owed approximately $3.93 million

from his $12 million salary.

Billy Butler went 1 for 8 in Oakland, but he’s batting .444 with

four home runs and 12 RBIs in his last 15 games against the

Mariners.

Seattle (40-69) has lost nine of 10 after falling 6-0 to Texas

on Thursday. The Mariners have scored a major league-low 353 runs

and been shut out three times in five games.

“You’ve got to score runs to have a ballgame,” manager Don

Wakamatsu said. “We’re not getting the job done.”

Suzuki remains consistent, batting .313 after recording two

doubles Thursday. He is hitting .378 over his last eight games and

is 7 for 22 against Greinke.

Making his third start of the season, Seattle’s Luke French

(0-2, 6.27) tries to remain perfect against the Royals. He is 2-0

with a 3.97 ERA against Kansas City.

After being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma, the left-hander

allowed four runs in six innings of a 4-0 loss at Minnesota on

Sunday.