Greinke is 'doing special things this year'

What's next for Greinke? Tune in Sunday

KANSAS CITY -- Major League batters haven't provided Zack Greinke with much competition this season.

Greinke has had to settle for a season-long battle with history.

After pitching eight innings and allowing one run in his last start against Detroit, Greinke's ERA rose to 0.84 and he became just the eighth pitcher since 1913 to have an ERA under 1.00 after 10 starts. Juan Marichal, who had a 0.59 ERA after 10 starts in 1966, had been the last pitcher to do it.

Oh, there's more.

Greinke is 8-1 in 10 starts. He has thrown five complete games -- more than all but one team in baseball -- and two shutouts. He's struck out 81 and walked 12.

"He's doing special things this year," first baseman Mike Jacobs said.

And then there's this: Of the 54 hits Greinke has surrendered in 2009, not one has left the ballpark. Greinke hasn't given up a homer since Sept. 2 against Oakland, a span of 103 innings.

It's the 11th-longest streak in the Majors since 1990, and Greinke can keep moving up the list when he returns to the mound against the White Sox on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Former Royal David Cone, who went 103 2/3 innings for the Mets without giving up a long ball in 1991 and 1992, is next on the list, and Jeff Weaver -- 105 2/3 innings from 2001 to 2002 with Detroit -- follows Cone. Roger Clemens has the longest streak. He pitched 149 2/3 innings without giving up a homer in 1990 and 1991.

Greinke is making his eighth start at Kauffman Stadium. He's 6-0 at home with a 1.04 ERA.

"Nothing rattles him," said Jacobs, who actually managed a homer off Greinke as a member of the Florida Marlins in 2008. "Whether he gives up a run or he doesn't, he's still the same guy."

But before his last start, Greinke had expressed disappointment with a few of his performances in May. He suffered his first loss against the Angels on May 9, then allowed two runs in six innings against Cleveland on May 21, drawing a no-decision.

He locked into full Greinke-mode in his last start against Detroit, calling it one of those starts in which "almost everything is working.

"They can't do too much with you if you keep it like that," Greinke said.

And it's been like that all season against the White Sox.

Greinke has faced the White Sox twice in 2009, and Chicago has yet to put a run on the board in 15 innings. And if you like dominating performances, take a look back at Greinke's last outing against the White Sox on May 4. Greinke worked a clean nine innings, holding the White Sox scoreless while striking out 10.

"I'm glad he's on our team," Jacobs said, "and we don't have to face him."

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Zack Greinke (8-1, 0.84 ERA)
Greinke dazzled again in his last start against Detroit. The Royals' ace had command of all four his pitches and threw his fifth complete game of the season. Greinke allowed just one run while striking out eight. Greinke, who has nine quality starts, is 2-0 against the White Sox. He threw six scoreless innings in Chicago on April 8, then backed that up with a shutout on May 4.

CWS: LHP John Danks (4-3, 4.59 ERA)
There was no hiding the fact that Danks was not sharp during his start Monday night at Angel Stadium, beginning a six-game road trip covering seven days for the White Sox. But the left-hander battled through six innings to earn the victory, while benefiting from 17 runs and 24 hits of support. Danks gave up three runs to the Angels in the first inning but did not allow another run over the next five, exiting with 112 pitches and just 58 for strikes. Danks allowed the leadoff hitter to reach in five of his six innings and had a career-worst six walks, but gave up just four hits and struck out four. The left-hander completes the road trip and the month of May for the White Sox, pitching on an extra day of rest at Kauffman Stadium. Danks has no record against the Royals in one start this season and has a 1-0 lifetime mark in five starts when facing Kansas City.

Crown Points
After leading the American League in team ERA for most of the first seven weeks of the season, the Royals dropped to third entering Saturday's game. The Royals had given up 33 runs in four games before Saturday, raising their team ERA to 4.08. Seattle (3.96) and Detroit (3.98) both moved above Kansas City. ... Eric Hosmer, the Royals' first-round Draft choice in 2008, had three hits and four RBIs for Class A Burlington in an 11-5 win over Fort Wayne on Thursday. Hosmer has batted .400 in his last nine games, raising his average to .262. ... Johnny Giavotella had two hits and two runs for Class A Wilmington.

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Up next
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Royals (Kyle Davies, 2-4, 5.09) at Rays (Andy Sonnanstine, 3-5, 7.66), 6:08 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Royals (TBD) at Rays (Jeff Niemann, 4-4, 4.44), 6:08 p.m. CT

Rustin Dodd is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.