KANSAS CITY -- The endings weren't pleasant but Zack Greinke couldn't be blamed for the loss either time.
Greinke will make his third start as a visiting player against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Monday night with the Dodgers. The first two times came in 2012, once with the Brewers and, after he'd been traded at midseason, again with the Angels. He pitched very well each time and each time his team lost after he left the game.
On June 12, 2012, Greinke's return was overshadowed when Royals starter Luis Mendoza had a no-hitter going for six innings. But Greinke pitched seven strong innings for Milwaukee and was pulled with the score 1-1.
The Royals' run off him came as Alex Gordon pounded a Greinke offering into the right-field fountains. The Royals won, 2-1, when in the eighth, Gordon doubled off reliever Francisco Rodriguez and scored on Billy Butler's single.
On Sept. 15, 2012, Greinke was within two outs of a 2-0 win for Los Angeles but when Gordon singled, Angels manager Mike Scioscia brought in closer Ernesto Frieri.
Butler blasted a home run far over the center-field wall for a 2-2 tie. And then, Salvador Perez belted a drive high off the yellow foul pole in left for a walk-off victory.
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer played in those games, but what he also remembers is what an impact Greinke had on Kansas City in 2009 in winning the American League Cy Young Award. Hosmer was in the Minor Leagues then, but he and his teammates followed the Kansas City team on TV.
"I remember watching the games when he was in that Cy Young season. It seemed like every game he was pitching, this place was packed so there was a lot of good energy," Hosmer said. "I think it'll be fun. He came up with a lot of these guys so it'll be fun for guys like Gordo to see him again."
Especially since Gordon is 3-for-7 against Greinke.