KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Zack Greinke is getting to the point in his career where it seems as though just about every start brings with it some kind of record, even those that the former Cy Young winner never anticipated seeing.
Like his name climbing the career strikeouts list.
Hardly known for his overpowering stuff, Greinke nevertheless moved into the top 20 on Monday night while combining with four Kansas City Royals relievers to hold the scuffling Los Angeles Angels to five hits in a 7-0 victory.
“It’s crazy. I never really thought about any of this stuff, but it’s been interesting stuff happening the last couple of starts,” said the 38-year-old Greinke, who is nearing the end of his 19th big league season. “I’ve never really thought about it.”
Greinke scattered three hits over five innings before giving the ball to Amir Garrett (2-1), who worked around a leadoff double in the sixth. Jose Cuas handled the seventh, Scott Barlow the eighth and Josh Staumont finished off the ninth.
All the support came after Greinke departed: Michael A. Taylor drove in three runs, Emmanuel Rivera drove in a run during a four-run seventh, and MJ Melendez capped the rout with a two-run homer in the eighth.
The Angels’ Noah Syndergaard (5-8) went 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
“Deserved a better fate,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said.
Now, the Royals will go for their first four-game win streak of the season on Tuesday night.
“We’re playing better baseball,” Royals manager Mike Matheny admitted. “You see those pieces coming together.”
It started with Greinke on Monday night. He navigated an error by Whit Merrifield in the first, worked around Shohei Ohtani’s double in the third and…