The Cincinnati Reds have never faced Zack Greinke, but from
their perspective, they may be getting introduced to the reigning
AL Cy Young winner at the perfect time.
The struggling Greinke tries to avoid losing a fifth straight
start for the first time since he was a rookie Sunday when his
Kansas City Royals decide their series in Cincinnati.
Greinke (1-8, 4.05 ERA) led the majors with a 2.16 ERA last
year, but very little has come easily for the right-hander in 2010
while the Royals have lost 11 of his 13 starts.
The last four outings have been particularly frustrating for
Greinke, who is 0-4 with a 7.97 ERA in that stretch, with opponents
hitting .355. The only time Greinke has lost five consecutive
starts was as a 20-year-old from June 13-July 6, 2004.
“Usually a bad game is like three runs, and they’ve been five-,
six-, seven-run games,” Greinke said. “I don’t know where that’s
coming from. Not getting out of innings. Usually it’s two outs and
the inning’s over, and not lately.”
Greinke went 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA in interleague play over the
last two years, but he allowed eight runs – seven earned – in 3 1-3
innings of an 11-7 loss to Colorado on May 23.
He wasn’t much better Tuesday at Minnesota, giving up six runs
in five innings of a 7-3 defeat, although Kansas City manager Ned
Yost remained upbeat.
“I liken it to a hitter going through a slump,” Yost said. “You
find ways to work your way through it and work your way out of it.
He’s a guy that works real hard. As soon as it was over, he was on
the video looking at it. He’ll work his way out of it.”
The Royals (26-37) have also done little to help Greinke, who
has not received a run of support in any of his last four outings.
Only Houston’s Felipe Paulino and Baltimore’s Kevin Millwood have
received less run support in the majors this season.
The NL Central-leading Reds (36-27) continue to pile up runs in
bunches. They’ve totaled 29 runs in their last four games – winning
three of them – and their .312 team average since May 5 is easily
the best in the majors.
With two home runs and a career-high six RBIs, Jonny Gomes
provided the spark in Saturday’s 11-5 win over the Royals. Gomes is
batting .452 with six homers and 29 RBIs in his last 21 home
“This game will drive you crazy with its ups and downs,” Gomes
said. “A win like this and an individual night like that will put a
smile on your face. It makes it all worth it.”
Brandon Phillips also had an impressive game, going 3 for 4 with
a home run to extend his hitting streak to 15 – the longest current
streak in the majors.
Reds rookie Sam LeCure (1-2, 3.12) certainly hopes the onslaught
continues as he makes his fourth major league start.
After getting a 15-6 win over Houston in his debut May 28, the
right-hander hasn’t gotten any run support in his last two outings,
losing despite holding San Francisco to one run in six innings of a
3-0 defeat on Tuesday.