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Orioles-Royals Preview 2009-05-15


Orioles-Royals Preview 2009-05-15
Though he suffered his first loss of the season his last time out, Zack Greinke was just as dominant as he's been all year.

Mired in a season-high six-game slide, the Kansas City Royals turn to their ace Friday night when they continue a four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles.

On Saturday, Greinke (6-1, 0.51 ERA) had his nine-game winning streak snapped as he lost for the first time since Sept. 7. The majors' ERA leader gave up one run and four hits over eight innings of 1-0 loss against the Los Angeles Angels.

"(My stuff) was all right - I can't complain but not good enough," said Greinke, who had three-ball counts on six of the first seven batters. "It was a tough game. A loss is a loss. It might be a little tougher, but the end result is the same thing."

Greinke has given up only three earned runs over 53 innings this season. Despite the defeat, he still pitched his fourth complete game, struck out five and didn't walk a batter for the second straight contest. The only run came on a sacrifice fly.

"From a pitching coach's standpoint, I thought that was his best game because he didn't have that electric stuff and he just pitched a heckuva game," pitching coach Bob McClure told Major League Baseball's official Web site.

Greinke looks to remain undefeated at home and enjoy some unprecedented success against Baltimore (15-20). The right-hander is 4-0 with a 0.60 ERA in four starts at Kauffman Stadium, but 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in three starts and two relief appearances against the Orioles.

He looks to help Kansas City (18-17) bounce back after a rough outing by Gil Meche in 9-5 loss on Thursday. Meche allowed five runs over 4 1-3 innings and the bullpen wasn't much better as Kansas City gave up 12 hits with six going for extra bases.

The Royals have scored 14 runs and their starting rotation is 0-5 with a 5.40 ERA during the skid.

"We've got to match it up," manager Trey Hillman said of the offense and defense. "A couple of balls one way or another and it could have been a different story. We've got to be able to put those things together."

Baltimore, meanwhile, has won five of eight overall and improved to 5-1 against AL Central foes. Cesar Izturis and Nick Markakis each drove in three runs as the Orioles improved to 24-7 in Kansas City since 2001.

"We were looking to kind of get back on track - we haven't played real well on the road," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said after his team moved to 4-9 on the road.

Adam Eaton (2-3, 7.18) will get the call for Baltimore, and he'll be trying to win consecutive starts for the first time since May 28-June 3 with Philadelphia. The right-hander gave up four runs and four hits - including two home runs - over five innings of a 12-5 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday.

This will be Eaton's second career start against the Royals. He faced them in 2004, allowing two runs in seven innings of a 5-4 win while with San Diego.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 15, 2009

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