Greinke can't contain White Sox in loss
Righty gets roughed up for four home runs by Chicago offense
CHICAGO -- This was an atypical outing for Zack Greinke in what has been a good season for him.
The White Sox hammered him for four home runs and made it look pretty easy in a 9-5 victory over the Royals on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Greinke found himself in an uncomfortable 6-0 bind after two innings as 21,727 fans were just making themselves comfortable on the South Side.
"With the slugging and the power in their lineup, obviously, it bit us early and midway through, and got us behind the 8-ball pretty good," Royals manager Trey Hillman said.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had been grumbling about the lack of firepower from his first-place club of late. That was promptly dispelled when Carlos Quentin hit a two-run homer in the first inning and A.J. Pierzynski banged a two-run shot of his own in the second inning.
The four-run second included an unlikely double by Alexei Ramirez. With Joe Crede on first base with one out, Ramirez's ground ball sent Tony Pena Jr. to his left. The ball clunked off Pena's foot and skittered away. No error was called as the grounder was ruled a double.
"It's [a play] that you expect him to make. It was a double-play ball for me," Hillman said.
But instead of the inning being over, there were runners at second and third -- at least until Orlando Cabrera bounced a single over Greinke's head to score both of them. Pierzynski's home run followed.
After that, Greinke reeled off three scoreless innings, but in the sixth Nick Swisher and Ramirez each clubbed a solo home run. The four homers allowed matched Greinke's career high and the eight runs off him were the most this season.
"Nothing was sharp," Greinke said, "and every fly ball was a home run, it seemed like."
Greinke never has fared well at the Cell. In seven appearances and six starts in Chicago, he's 0-5 with a 6.62 ERA.
"Chicago is weird. I feel like I dominate them every time and they still end up scoring a bunch of runs. Today was different. Today I did bad and they scored more than usual," Greinke said.
"So I just don't understand their team. In this park, they always do good against me, at least for the most part."
Winning pitcher Gavin Floyd went seven innings. Only two unearned runs marred his outing until Mark Teahen belted a two-run homer in the seventh inning. His fourth homer followed Miguel Olivo's double.
Ex-Royal Octavio Dotel gave up a run in the Royals' eighth. David DeJesus got his third hit, a single, and stole second before Alex Gordon singled him in. Bobby Jenks worked a scoreless ninth.
"The ball carries here in the summer, and our pitching staff did a good job to hold the lead," Guillen said. "It's good for us because we have a powerful lineup and we attacked their pitcher pretty well."
Greinke's record slipped to 5-3, and his ERA swelled to 3.56 from 2.88, which had been sixth-best in the American League.
The loss snapped the Royals' modest two-win surge that they'd put together after enduring 12 straight losses.
The five runs seemed a rather plump bunch for a team that had been scoring an average of just 3.6 runs a game.
"I liked what we were able to get because it was more than normal, but it still could have been better," Hillman said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.