04/19/09 4:25 PM ET
Soria lacking for recent opportunities
Royals winning, but save chances slim in past week
By Todd Wills / Special to MLB.com
The success on the mound has had a major effect on closer Joakim Soria, or more so his lack of work.
Soria last pitched on Monday against Cleveland. With Monday being an off-day, Soria could go more than a week without an appearance.
Managers like to get their closers in every three or four days at least. So the clock is clicking on Soria, who was likely to get an inning Sunday even if it was in a non-save situation.
"We'll get Jack some work somehow," Royals manager Trey Hillman said before Sunday's game.
Soria was warming up in the ninth inning of Saturday's game, but starter Zack Greinke was pitching a masterpiece and deserved a chance at his first shutout.
Hillman even went out to the mound after Greinke gave up a two-out hit to Nelson Cruz, just to check on his starter as it turned out.
"I saw him walking out there," Greinke said. "But I knew he was just coming out to check on me."
Greinke said he felt fine. He did say after the 2-0 victory that if he allowed another baserunner -- Greinke ended up striking out Chris Davis looking -- he would have come out of the game.
"That was my last hitter," Greinke said.
Soria has been on a roll. He's been successful in his last 13 save opportunities going back to Aug. 20, 2008. His 93.3 percent save conversion rate was third in baseball last year, and the best in franchise history.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.