Zack Greinke and Edward Olivares were the stars of the show in the their first appearances since coming off the Injured List as the Royals topped the Athletics in the series opener 3-1 on Friday night.
Greinke, who had missed nearly a month with a flexor strain, tossed six innings, allowing just three hits and one run with four strikeouts and no walks. He retired the first nine hitters he faced and threw a first-pitch strike to 17 of the 21 batters he faced.
Edward Olivares, who missed over a month with a quad injury, provided all the offense he would need. He homered in his first at-bat off the IL with a 420-foot blast in the third inning.
But Olivares wasn’t done. Perhaps fearing a demotion (after nine demotions last year), he decided to double up on his performance with another blast in the fifth.
The Royals would add a run in the sixth when Hunter Dozier doubled and scored on an RBI single by the red-hot Carlos Santana to make it 3-1. The A’s mounted a rally in the eighth of reliever Jose Cuas when Elvis Andrus singled and a walk by Nick Allen. But the Moneyball A’s called for a sacrifice bunt by Tony Kemp when they only had six outs left to give. Cuas struck out Jonah Bride and induced Ramon Laureano to ground out to end the threat.
Scott Barlow slammed the the door shut in the ninth to give the Royals their sixth win in eight games. They improve to 26-43 and will take on the A’s again tomorrow night at 7:10 CT with Brad Keller scheduled to take on Jared Koenig.