Final Score: Kansas City 3, Chicago 0
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Zack Greinke threw eight innings of two-hit ball as the Kansas City Royals blanked the Chicago White Sox, 3-0, in the finale of a four-game set at Kauffman Stadium.
Greinke (7-6) struck out a career-high 10 batters without a walk. Joakim Soria tossed a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances.
"You're definitely always not in that zone, but today, yes," said Greinke. "Especially in the later innings. The first couple innings I was throwing strikes, but right down the middle, at least to get ahead. In the later innings, I was pitching better, I thought."
Tony Pena Jr. had a pair of RBI, and Joey Gathright and John Buck had two hits apiece for the Royals, who won for just the fourth time in their last 15 games.
Jerry Owens and Juan Uribe had the lone hits for the White Sox, who came in having won four of six.
"He (Greinke) was pretty good today, as good as we've seen all year," said Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko, who went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. "But there's been times we faced him over the first couple innings in a relief spot where he's been that lights out."
Chicago starter Jon Garland (9-13) also went eight innings, surrendering three runs on six hits, while walking none and striking out four.
The Royals got on the board in the sixth. Buck doubled to left and scored when Pena followed with a double to right. Two batters later, Esteban German knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly to right.
In the eighth, Gathright singled to left, advanced to third on Buck's single to center and scored on Pena's sacrifice fly to center.
Chicago advanced just one runner past first base.
The White Sox lead the season series 10-5...Greinke is the first Kansas City pitcher to reach double digits in strikeouts since Odalis Perez had 10 against Boston on September 8, 2006...Kansas City (66-86) moved back ahead of Chicago (66-87) and out of the basement of the AL Central...Greinke's previous high in strikeouts was eight on June 21, 2005 against Garland and the White Sox...Before the two-run sixth, the Royals had gone 21 consecutive innings without a run...Attendance was 10,264.