Long balls beat Greinke, Royals
Home runs by both Thome, Dye do in Kansas City
CHICAGO -- Jon Garland made his Major League debut on July 4, 2000, against the Royals in Kansas City. He lost.
That's seldom happened since. When Garland pitched the Chicago White Sox to a 3-0 victory on Wednesday night, he boosted his record against the Royals to 16-6. And at U.S. Cellular Field -- oh my, he's 10-1 against them.
That's right, 10-1 on the South Side.
"I believe it," said David DeJesus, who went 1-for-4 against Garland. "It seems like he always goes nine innings against us. He seems like one of those guys who has our number."
The primary number on this night was zero. Garland gave up just three hits in his first shutout this season and sixth of his career.
The victory put the Sox one game ahead of the Royals in their battle to avoid last place.
This was a reversal of last Thursday's game at Kansas City. In that one, Zack Greinke shut out the White Sox for eight innings and beat Garland, who threw a complete game.
"We got three against him that time. This time it was just the opposite," DeJesus pointed out. "They got the three for him and they won 3-0."
This time around, with 32,091 fans at the park, Greinke was a victim of the long ball.
Jim Thome slammed his 33rd home run into the right-field stands in the first inning. Jermaine Dye belted his 28th homer, with Thome aboard on a walk, in the fourth inning.
"One was a bad pitch," Greinke said. "The other was Jim Thome."
Dye hit a hanging slider. Thome got into a fastball.
"My slider, my offspeed really wasn't working today," Greinke said. "I could throw it for a strike, but it didn't have any bite to it at all. They really didn't have to look for many pitches. They could just sit on the fastball and the slider really wasn't much of a problem."
Greinke used up 93 pitches in his five innings. Brandon Duckworth relieved him and retired all nine batters he faced. Duckworth, roughed up by Chicago for five runs on Sept. 17, has since retired 17 straight batters -- all in three subsequent games against the Sox.
This was Greinke's seventh start since rejoining the rotation on Aug. 24. He noted that it could have been worse, but left fielder Emil Brown uncorked a throw that cut down Scott Podsednik at the plate in the fourth inning.
Manager Buddy Bell, however, was satisfied.
"I think he was good enough to win. He gave us a chance to win. He didn't give up much," Bell said.
Trouble was, Garland didn't give up anything. There were just three singles and two walks -- both to John Buck.
"You go up and he's not going to have anything to overpower you. He just locates the ball well and he doesn't miss his spots," said Billy Butler, who was 0-for-4.
"He gave up, what, three hits? You can't really say anything bad about a guy that does that."
Garland, who celebrates his 28th birthday on Thursday, cakewalked through the last 17 batters he faced. Not a one reached base. He blew out the candles early.
"He did a great job," Greinke said. "He always does against us, though."
He sure does.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.