Royals drop finale to Rays 3-2 as Greinke makes early exit


Kansas City Royals manager Mike Matheny, left, watches as starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws a warm up pitch after feeling discomfort in his wrist during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Greinke stayed on the game. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)


Kansas City Royals veteran starting pitcher Zack Greinke had some hiccups on the mound as he tried to finish off his first couple of innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday before appearing to settle into a rhythm.

But Greinke seemed to show signs of discomfort in his wrist or forearm during his final inning, the fourth, prompting a visit to the mound from manager Mike Matheny and head athletic trainer Kyle Turner. Greinke then left the game having thrown fewer than 70 pitches and retiring the last three batters he faced.

The Royals remained within striking distance even with Greinke out of the game but couldn’t generate enough offense in a 3-2 loss to close out a four-game series in front of an announced crowd of 12,940 at Tropicana Field.

Greinke’s early exit certainly raised some eyebrows. He spent time on the injured list in late May into June with a flexor strain. Prior to that stint on the IL, he’d complained of a lack of sharpness in his pitches.

The Royals concluded their seven-game road trip with a 1-6 record, including back-to-back losses to finish the weekend.

Rookies MJ Melendez (2 for 4, double, RBI) and Bobby Witt Jr. (1 for 2, double, RBI) drove in runs for the Royals (49-74).

Royals relievers Amir Garrett (2/3 inning), Brad Keller (two innings) and Dylan Coleman (one inning) each had scoreless outings. Jose Cuas gave up one run in the fifth inning and took the loss.

This story will be updated.

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.

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