Royals fall after furious comeback
Offense overcomes rough Greinke outing to force extra frames
PPHOENIX -- Zack Greinke had one of the worst outings in Royals history. But, of all things, he didn't get the loss.
Greinke was charged with 11 runs, the most any Royals pitcher ever has given up, but escaped a decision as his teammates tied the score before losing, 12-11, in the 10th inning on Troy Glaus' home run Friday night.
Glaus led off the 10th with a high blast into the left-field bullpen against reliever Mike MacDougal. That sucked the wind out of the Royals, who overcame an 11-2 deficit in front of 22,731 at Bank One Ballpark.
On this odd night, Greinke also cracked a home run. But among the 15 hits he gave up, which tied a club record, were three homers by the Diamondbacks.
"I thought it was great how we came back, but I did terrible," Greinke said.
Greinke was drilled for two homers by Shawn Green and one by ex-Royal Kelly Stinnett. Green drove in five of the runs, adding an RBI double against Greinke and a sacrifice fly against reliever Mike Wood.
This is the latest chapter in a five-game book in which Greinke has been tagged for 31 runs (11.79 ERA) and 43 hits in 23 2/3 innings.
Said Greinke, in response to what he was doing wrong, "A lot of things, I guess. If you ask my pitching coach, he'd say I'm leaving the ball up. If you ask guys on the team, they'll say I'm not throwing my best pitches. If you ask me, I'd say it's been both of it a little bit."
"Just the way things have been going the last five games, the strike zone seems smaller, the hitters seem bigger and stronger, it's harder to hit the corners."
Maybe Greinke needed to take out his frustration somehow. He reached the left-center field seats against right-hander Russ Ortiz with the bases empty in the fifth inning. It was Greinke's first Major League homer -- and his first hit -- and just the eighth blast in history by a Royals pitcher.
"I really didn't think I could hit that far, to tell you the truth," he said. "It just happened."
This was the Royals' first by a pitcher since Lance Clemons connected on Aug. 31, 1971. Jim Rooker had five home runs and Jim York hit the other.
Down, 11-3, to Ortiz after seven innings, the Royals surged to an 11-11 tie against the Diamondbacks' bullpen. The Royals' Ruben Gotay hit a two-run shot against reliever Edgar Gonzalez in their six-run eighth, and David DeJesus added a two-run triple in an inning that also included six walks by four Arizona pitchers.
|Matt Stairs / DH|
Weight: 210 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: R
The Royals, just one strike from losing, tied the score against right-hander Lance Cormier in the ninth on Matt Stairs' RBI single.
"That was a -- phew -- a tough loss," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "We did a lot of bad stuff and an awful lot of good stuff. Unfortunately, it came down to a home run by Glaus, who's done that many times before."
The Royals' first game at the BOB ended on a 2-1 pitch from MacDougal as Glaus led off the 10th. The drive just made it over the fence, traveling an estimated 364 feet.
"Mac's our guy. We want him in there," said team captain Mike Sweeney, who missed a third straight game with a rib cage injury.
"If it's the same way tomorrow, we want the big redhead in there, no doubt about it."
Meantime, there was concern over Greinke's slump. Even though he gave up a record 11 runs and a record-tying 15 hits, he didn't get a loss. But he's 1-7 and his ERA has bloated to 6.01 from 3.09 five games ago.
"He's a young kid and he just has to figure it out. That's why we left him out there," Bell said. "We just have to be patient with him."
Bell suggested that perhaps Greinke just has lost trust in his stuff -- stuff that has served him well in the past. Perhaps so.
"Every time you throw to the plate, you feel like if you miss at all, it's going to go over the fence," Greinke said.
Eleven runs against him. An amazing comeback by the Royals. Then a flattening home run.
"This game, I can't figure it out," Bell said. "If you figure it out, let me know."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.