05/17/08 11:58 PM ET
Olivo stepping in against former club
Kansas City (20-22) at Florida (24-18), Sunday, 12:10 p.m. CT
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
Olivo had a key two-run homer against the Marlins, his club in the previous two seasons, on Friday night when the Royals won, 7-6. Things weren't so fruitful in Saturday night's 7-3 loss, but at least his old mates showed him respect with two intentional walks.
"It's good when you're used to playing in the city and you come in here and play against them and have a good day, a good night and win the game," Olivo said, referring to Friday night's game. "That's a good feeling."
With regular catcher John Buck away this weekend because of the premature birth of his twins, Olivo has stepped in and is expected to catch his fourth straight game on Sunday.
But he hasn't yet caught Greinke in a regular-season game.
"I caught him in Spring Training one or two times -- I'll just try to do my best and make him feel comfortable," Olivo said. "Most of the time I have a pretty good idea about what's going on with a pitcher."
Manager Trey Hillman doesn't foresee any problems.
"I think it's more difficult with a power pitcher, so it might be a little more of a challenge," Hillman said.
Olivo probably has some extra juices flowing against his ex-teammates.
"It can certainly help," Hillman said. "I think there's a motivational factor in there. It can be a special day.There's a little added adrenaline. I know good and well Miggy has adrenaline going any time he plays -- he's got great energy. And he's got a little additional adrenaline to do something against these guys."
Naturally, Olivo knows most of their hitters pretty well which should help as he calls the game.
"I follow my scouting report and sometimes I know what kind of a hitter they have over there. They have good hitters -- [Dan] Uggla, Hanley [Ramirez], [Jeremy] Hermida," he said.Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Zack Greinke (4-1, 1.93 ERA)
Greinke pitched well enough to win Tuesday night against the Tigers, but left after six innings with the score tied. He threw 100 pitches and gave up nine hits. With the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, he revved up and struck out Ivan Rodriguez to keep the score knotted at 2 -- and that's been typical of his season. He's been so effective that his six-inning stint marked just the second time that he did not go at least seven innings in eight starts. FLA: RHP Burke Badenhop (1-2, 5.97 ERA)
If for a little bit better luck, Badenhop would have been in line for a win in his last start -- a no-decision in Cincinnati. But a throwing error led to an unearned run, and his own wild pitch allowed another run to score. Still, the right-hander met the requirements for a quality start -- three earned runs (or less) over six (or more) innings. His six innings matched a career high. And in four straight starts, he worked at least five innings. Advancing deeper into games is his next hurdle. Crown points
Hillman and bench coach Dave Owen had a gabfest with Marlins bullpen coach Steve Foster. All three are products of the University of Texas-Arlington baseball program. "It's a little bit ironic for a university that's not known as a powerhouse to have three Major League staff guys in the same game," Hillman said. ... Right-hander Kyle Davies ran his record to 5-2 with Triple-A Omaha, going six shutout innings in a 6-2 win at Albuquerque. His ERA dropped to 2.09. ... The Royals and Marlins now stand 4-4 in their all-time Interleague Play -- so Sunday's game stands as a rubber game in more ways than one.
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Monday: Royals (Luke Hochevar, 3-2, 3.94) at Red Sox (Jon Lester, 2-2, 3.95), 6:05 p.m. CT
Tuesday: Royals (Gil Meche, 3-5, 5.98) at Red Sox (Bartolo Colon, 0-0, -.--), 6:05 p.m. CT
Wednesday: Royals (Brett Tomko, 2-4, 5.32) at Red Sox (TBD), 6:05 p.m. CT
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.