Kennedy gets home win as Royals top Arizona 2-1
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ian Kennedy is finally in the win column at Kauffman Stadium.
Kennedy picked up his first home victory in more than a year as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Friday night.
Kennedy (5-13) snapped a franchise record of 18 winless home starts, holding the postseason bound Diamondbacks to one run and four hits over five innings, while striking out seven. It was his first Kauffman Stadium victory since Aug. 20, 2016. He was 0-9 with a 6.13 ERA in the skid.
“It was August when I found out I hadn’t won at home,” Kennedy said. “I said, ‘I’ll get one, I’ll get one.’ My wife said something about it as I was leaving today and she apologized. She said, ‘I’m sorry I brought it up.’
“Now that I knew about it, get that monkey off my back and stop talking about it, but next year hopefully win the first one and get that out of the way.”
Jake Lamb hit his 30th home run in the second inning for the only run Kennedy would allow.
Zack Greinke (17-7) was charged with the loss in his final tuneup before starting the wild-card game Wednesday in Phoenix against either Colorado or Milwaukee.
“It felt good, healthy, making pitches, and I didn’t win the game,” Greinke said. “That was not ideal, but I felt good out there.”
Greinke, who the Royals drafted sixth overall in 2002, was on a limited pitch count and removed after four-plus innings and 75 pitches. Greinke is 0-2 in four career starts against the Royals, the only major league team he has never beaten.
Greinke allowed two runs and six hits. He yielded a home run to Whit Merrifield to lead off the third. Melky Cabrera doubled and scored on Eric Hosmer’s two-out single in the first for the other Kansas City run.
Merrifield has 19 home runs, 32 doubles and 33 stolen bases. If he gets one more home run, he would be the fourth second baseman in American League history with 20 homers, 30 doubles and 30 stolen bases.
“There’s no way not to go up there and not try to hit a home run at this point,” Merrifield said. “I don’t want to go up there and try to hit it 500 feet. I still want to put a good swing on it, but there’s a little consciousness of putting a driving swing on it.”
Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin made his first relief appearance of the season after 32 starts, throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings. The Diamondbacks have yet to decide whether Corbin will be in the postseason rotation or used out of the bullpen after going 14-13 with a 4.09 ERA as a starter.
“We’re not dumping him into the bullpen,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s not going to be coming out of the bullpen. He’s still one of the five starters and we’re walking through a whole bunch of different scenarios. We just wanted to get him some work today.”
Arizona right fielder J.D. Martinez, who has 16 home runs in September to tie a National League record, doubled, struck out twice and grounded into a double play.
Relievers Peter Moylan, Scott Alexander, Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria and Mike Minor held the Diamondbacks scoreless over the final four innings. Minor picked up his fifth save in seven opportunities.
Diamondbacks: Lovullo said C Jeff Mathis (fractured right hand) is “getting very close.” He could appear in a game this weekend in Kansas City. “If he doesn’t play in a game before Wednesday, there’s no way I can put him behind home plate in that type of environment, that type of game,” Lovullo said of Mathis catching in the wild-card game. ... SS Chris Owings (fractured right middle finger) is doing baseball activity in the instructional league in Arizona, but has yet to appear in a game.
Royals: C Salvador Perez (groin strain) did not play Friday and likely will be held out Saturday.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taijuan Walker is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in two interleague starts this season.
Royals: RHP Jake Junis is coming off a loss to the Yankees, allowing six runs, seven hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings.