American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, September 15th
(All times Eastern)
LA Angels of Anaheim (79-66) at Kansas City Royals (65-79), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Zack Greinke (5-2, 4.15)
Kansas City - Jeremy Guthrie (4-3, 3.23)
(Sports Network) - Former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke returns to Kansas
City to face his former team Saturday when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
visit the Royals in game two of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
A 28-year-old, Greinke was drafted sixth overall by the Royals in 2002 and
debuted with them in 2004 before slowing working his way to the upper echelon
of American League pitchers.
He reached the pinnacle with Kansas City in 2009, when he captured the AL Cy
Young after posting a 16-8 record with a stingy 2.16 earned run average across
229 1/3 innings and 33 starts.
He won 10 games in 33 starts with the Royals the following season before a
trade to Milwaukee in a six-player deal in December 2010. He won 16 games in
his initial season with the Brewers and nine more this year before heading to
the Angels for three players in late July.
Nine starts with Los Angeles have yielded five wins and a 4.15 ERA - including
four wins in his last four starts while he's surrendered just six runs on 19
hits in 28 2/3 innings.
Greinke faced the Royals for the lone time in his career on June 12 with
Milwaukee and emerged with a no-decision after allowing a run on six hits with
eight strikeouts in seven innings.
Kansas City won the game, 2-1.
The hosts go with veteran righty Jeremy Guthrie, who makes his 180th career
start and aims for a fifth consecutive victory.
The 33-year-old - also a first-round draft pick back in 2002 - was just 3-12
with a 6.56 ERA after a 5-3 loss to Texas on Aug. 3, but has since gone 4-0 in
seven outings while trimming his ERA down to 5.06.
Guthrie also began the season in the National League with Colorado before
heading to Kansas City for pitcher Jonathan Sanchez on July 20.
He's 3-3 in nine career outings against then Angels.
On Friday, pinch-hitter Kendrys Morales hit a game-tying homer in the eighth
inning and Mike Trout scored the go-ahead run later in the frame as the Angels
defeated the Royals, 9-7.
Trout and Erick Aybar followed Morales' two-out, two-run blast with
consecutive singles before Tim Collins (5-3) hit Albert Pujols to load the
bases. Jeremy Jeffress then walked Torii Hunter on five pitches to push across
the go-ahead run.
Jordan Walden (3-2) recorded the final out of the seventh to earn the win and
Scott Downs stranded Jeff Francoeur at second base in the eighth before Kole
Calhoun's ninth-inning RBI groundout capped the scoring.
Ernesto Frieri held Kansas City off the board in the bottom half to pick up
his 19th save of the season.
Howie Kendrick had a two-run double and Alberto Callaspo singled home a pair
in the fourth inning for the Angels, who are 2 1/2 games behind the New York
Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles for the final AL Wild Card spot.
"We went out there and battled those guys and they are really trying to be
spoilers right now," Kendrick said. "You just can't give up and we didn't."
The teams split their initial six games of 2012, with the Royals taking two of
three in Anaheim in April before the Angels took two of three there in July.
Kansas City won the 2011 series, seven games to three.
09/15 10:31:13 ET