<
>

Greinke tosses seven strong

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Maybe young Zack Greinke has finally
found the formula for success: Hold the opponent to one run for
seven innings and then let five relievers finish the job.

Greinke pitched seven strong innings and Kansas City used five
pitchers to get the last six outs Thursday night, beating the
Minnesota Twins 3-1 and enabling Greinke to snap his five-game
losing skid.

The 20-year-old right-hander (2-6) had been unable to win
despite allowing only 10.45 baserunners per nine innings, second in
the AL. In his first nine starts, the Royals had supported the
baby-faced rookie with an average of only two runs per game.

"I don't know how everyone feels," Greinke said. "I just know
that losing as many times as I did, and our team losing, it was a
tough time for everyone and it was real tough for me. It feels good
to get a win."

He gave up four hits and one run, with one walk and four
strikeouts.

"I was just trying not to change anything and stay aggressive
and not walk anyone like I did," Greinke said. "My velocity was
better today."

Mike Sweeney had three hits, including an RBI single in the
first inning that broke Kansas City's 31-inning scoring drought
against Minnesota.

The Royals had not scored off their AL Central rivals since the
fifth inning of their game on May 30. Kyle Lohse, Brad Radke and
Johan Santana all threw complete-game shutouts last week as the
Twins outscored the Royals 25-0 in a three-game sweep.

On Thursday, David DeJesus and Tony Graffanino each singled
leading off against Lohse (3-7) and then Sweeney and Ken Harvey --
breaking an 0-for-21 skid -- stroked RBI singles giving the Royals a
2-0 lead.

"It's very simple -- we had a different lineup," Royals manager
Tony Pena said. "We didn't have Sweeney last week."

Sweeney is batting .579 with two home runs and nine RBI in four
games since missing six straight games with a sore back.

Three of Greinke's 10 starts have been against the Twins.

"He changes speeds, moves the ball in and out, doesn't throw
too many balls out over the middle of the plate," Minnesota
manager Ron Gardenhire said.

"He makes adjustments to the hitters when they're trying to
make adjustments to him. He does a very good job of messing up the
hitters' timing and that's what hitting is all about -- timing."

Greinke gave up leadoff singles in each of the first two innings
and then did not allow a base runner until walking Corey Koskie in
the fifth. Koskie was wiped out on Torii Hunter's fielder's choice
but then Matt LeCroy's RBI double made it 3-1.

The Royals added a run in the fourth when Berroa singled, stole
second, went to third on an infield out and came home on Lohse's
wild pitch.

Scott Sullivan got two outs and Jamie Cerda one in the eighth,
then Nate Field came on for the ninth.

After getting one out, Field put two runners on. Dennys Reyes
relieved and struck out Koskie, then Ryan Bukvich struck out Hunter
for his first career save.

Lohse (3-7) was charged with three runs on eight hits in five
innings, with two walks and two strikeouts.

Game notes
OF Shannon Stewart had two singles in his first game since
going on the DL May 18. The Twins put 1B Doug Mientkiewicz on the
15-day DL with a sore wrist. ... C Joe Mauer was held out of the
lineup with swelling in his surgically repaired left knee but
pinch-hit in the eighth and struck out. ... SS Cristian Guzman sat
out after being treated for a nosebleed. ... Royals 3B Joe Randa
figures he's ahead of schedule and could be back next week from
arthroscopic knee surgery. ... Greinke has led off eight of his 10
starts with strikes. ... Since undergoing knee surgery last week,
Royals' third base coach John Mizerock has switched places with
first-base coach Luis Silverio.