KANSAS CITY -- Kansas City has not treated its former pitching ace Zack Greinke nicely in his three starts wearing an opponent's uniform. Greinke didn't pitch poorly in the first two times he faced the Royals but Greinke never had it on Monday night, giving up five runs in a game for the first time since July 3, 2013 while his mound opponent, Jeremy Guthrie pitched much better and was able to shut down the Dodgers bats for most of the game in a 5-3 Kansas City win.
Greinke said he located okay with the fastball but had nothing sharp beside that.
"The offspeed was really the problem," Greinke added. "I mean you didn't have to respect it, I was doing them a favor if I threw it today."
Greinke said his change up was "good" but he didn't throw it much to righties. It was effective against the lefties aside Jarrod Dyson.
Greinke said in the last few games, he's worked on different things. First he was trying to go longer in games and then the last game he was trying too be fine but he threw a lot of pitches in six innings, so Monday he threw more strikes and got hit. Greinke said he has to find "a happy medium" to all of that.
In a moment of levity when asked about how the Kansas City fans reacted to him, Greinke said they cheered when he pitched well the first two times he came back in 2012 and before today's game he got a nice cheer as his name was announced. Why he got some loud boos when he exited the game, he didn't know and as Greinke said, "I'm not a psychologist."
Don Mattingly mentioned the low pitch count for Guthrie and how long it took the Dodgers to get going. Mattingly didn't say if the game plan was to hit against Guthrie early in the count but it didn't sound like that part of the game went the way the Dodgers coaching staff had planned it.
Mattingly thought Greinke pitched okay, but there were a few balls that didn't go where Greinke wanted them to go.
"[Greinke] hasn't been as sharp as he was in his last few starts, though he still has been good," Mattingly said.
On Yasiel Puig's numbers since he injured his hip, Mattingly said he has no concerns about Puig while pointing to the line drives that were hit at fielders tonight.
The Royals started their scoring in the second inning as Salvador Perez hit his ninth home run of season. Alcides Escobar singled with two outs and moved to second on a wild pitch. Dyson singled in Escobar to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Dyson led off with a single, stole second and scored on Lorenzo Cain's single to make it 3-0. In the sixth inning, Perez doubled to left and with two out Escobar hit a bloop triple followed by Dyson's third single to make it 5-0.
Guthrie was making his first career appearance against the Dodgers and Guthrie had them off-balance for most of the game by locating well and changing speeds throughout the game. The only blemish in Guthrie's game was in the eighth inning after allowing singles to Carlos Triunfel and Justin Turner, Hanley Ramirez doubled to left-center scoring two runs and sending Guthrie to the bench.
Wade Davis came in and retired Puig on the first pitch to the end the inning.
Jamey Wright relieved Greinke and retired four in a row. Chris Perez was brought in to pitch the eighth inning and retired the side in order in his first appearance in eight days.
Greg Holland, who may have thought he had the night off with a five-run lead with two outs in the eighth, came in the ninth. He was greeted by Adrian Gonzalez homering to right making it a two-run game. Mike Moustakas made a nice stop and throw to get Matt Kemp, then Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis struck out to end the game.
Kemp singled, to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
Ramirez's double gave him a 10-game hitting streak.
Turner had his fifth pinch-hit of the season with his single in the eighth inning.
Gonzalez's solo home run extended his streak with at least one run batted in to five games.
Clayton Kershaw makes his first start since no-hitting the Rockies, facing left-hander Danny Duffy.
Home runs: Salvador Perez (9), Adrian Gonzalez (13)
WP - Jeremy Guthrie (5-6 ): 7.2 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Zack Greinke (9-4): 5.2 IP, 11 hits, 5 runs, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Greg Holland (22): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 strikeouts