06/25/08 1:54 AM ET
Royals continue Interleague dominance
Greinke fans 10 as KC rolls to series win over Rockies
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
The Royals defeated the Colorado Rockies, 7-3, on Tuesday night for their 11th victory in 14 games against National League clubs this season. The Royals also notched their ninth victory in the last 10 games as 19,169 fans watched at Kauffman Stadium.
"I think it's just kind of a coincidence -- that we're playing well at the right time," said Alex Gordon, who contributed a two-run homer to this win. "People want to make it into a big deal but it's just our time."
Strange way things unfolded in the game, too. Home-plate umpire Brian O'Nora was beaned by a broken bat and had to the leave the game. Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki tried a deke that led to a big error. Royals reliever Ramon Ramirez threw a couple of outrageously wild pitches in the ninth.
"There are some strange things that happen in this game," Royals manager Trey Hillman said.
It was even a bit strange that Royals starter and winner Zack Greinke racked up 10 strikeouts, matching his career high, in just six innings.
"My slider was going right where I wanted it," Greinke said. "It wasn't a strike but it wasn't far away from being a strike either. It was just enough to make them want to swing at it."
The Rockies got three runs on nine hits, but the only rousing blow was Matt Holliday's leadoff homer in the sixth.
Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, facing his former teammates, retired the first 10 Royals he faced.
"I thought he looked really good, and people were impressed with his changeup so it looks like he's doing the right thing in Colorado," Gordon said.
Mike Aviles became the first baserunner with a walk in the fourth. Gordon hit a lower liner that Tulowitzki snagged just above the dirt. He flipped the ball to second baseman Clint Barmes, creating the illusion of a double play that might draw Aviles off first base.
"I wasn't even sure if it had bounced or if I had caught it -- I was trying to make it bounce, but I guess I caught it, so I was covering all my bases," Tulowitzki said.
Aviles wasn't fooled.
"I saw the ball go into his glove so I kind of knew that it wasn't," Aviles said. "I just retreated back to first, slid in and hoped not to get doubled off."
That worked out because Barmes heaved the ball into the Royals' dugout for an error. Aviles was waved to third base and scored the game's first run on Miguel Olivo's single.
Another error in the fifth inning also hurt De La Rosa. John Buck's double and Ross Gload's single produced a run. Then first baseman Todd Helton threw away a sacrifice bunt to help the Royals make it a three-run inning. David DeJesus and Aviles added RBI singles.
Gordon's homer came after Aviles' single in the seventh against reliever Ryan Speier.
"Get that insurance run and let [closer Joakim] Soria rest for another night," Gordon said.
A strange at-bat for Yorvit Torrealba against Ramirez came as he led off the ninth with a four-pitch walk. The wild part was that Ramirez's first and third pitches were flung to the backstop.
Ramirez declared that the pitches just slipped because of sweat on his hands. In any event, umpire Paul Nauert issued a warning to both benches.
"This is like my two-seam, my sinker -- I sweat so much that the ball slipped when I threw," Ramirez said. "[Torrealba] is my friend. I don't want to hit this guy."
Indeed they were seen chatting amiably during pregame practice. Torrealba wouldn't discuss the matter. But Rockies manager Clint Hurdle did.
"From our perspective, it seemed like he took two pretty good shots at him and missed for whatever reason," Hurdle said. "Obviously there's something that's not so good."
In fact, Hurdle figured the incident might spark something in the Rockies.
"Maybe he lit a pilot light that we're having trouble getting lit or keeping lit so maybe we can thank him for that when it's all said and done," he said.
The Royals certainly don't need any more fire under them, not when they play a NL club.
"We've pitched well the whole time against them, but the main thing is we've been scoring a lot of runs in those games and making it easy on the pitching staff," Greinke said. "The way we've played against them we'd beat any team in baseball, not just the National League."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.