KANSAS CITY — Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke received rare run support for his first win in eight starts and the Kansas City Royals ended a seven-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
Alberto Callaspo hit a three-run homer and the Royals roughed up Cleveland starter David Huff (1-5) to give Greinke (1-4) his most run support of the season.
The hard-luck right-hander made the most of it, winning for the first time since September by giving up three runs in six innings.
Robinson Tejeda allowed a run in the eighth inning on Asdrubal Cabrera's third hit, a run-scoring single, but Joakim Soria closed out the ninth for his eighth save in 10 chances.
Cleveland stranded 11 runners.
Greinke opened the season with no wins over his first seven starts, some of it his fault, some his teammates'.
The attention-shy right-hander has gotten the fourth-lowest run support in the AL at 2.4 runs per game, and the bullpen has blown leads in three games after he left the mound. But he's also had his share of rough moments, allowing three or more earned runs twice, including a loss to Texas on Friday in his last start.
The Indians scored three off him in one inning, getting run-scoring singles by Austin Kearns and Jhonny Peralta and an RBI double by Matt Laporta in the third to go up 3-0.
This time, the Royals rallied.
Coming off 3 rough outings — his seven runs in 2 2-3 innings against Detroit on Friday was washed out by rain — Huff cruised through the first three innings before finding trouble in the fourth.
David DeJesus got it started with a leadoff single and Jose Guillen walked, setting up Callaspo’s just-over-the-wall three-run shot to tie the game 3-all.
DeJesus gave the Royals their first lead the next inning, looping a run-scoring single in front of a diving Grady Sizemore, then Billy Butler hit the next pitch over the center fielder’s head for a double that made it 5-3.
Greinke allowed one hit over the next three innings and was replaced by Tejeda after throwing 112 pitches. He gave up eight hits and struck out eight in his first start at Kauffman Stadium since April 5.
The Royals added a run off Huff in the sixth inning on Yuniesky Betancourt’s slicing, run-scoring single to right. The big left-hander has now lost his last four starts, giving up four or more earned runs in each. He allowed six runs on nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.
NOTES: Royals C Jason Kendall was given the day off after sustaining what manager Trey Hillman said was the worst in-game contusion he had ever seen. Kendall was hit on the left forearm by a pitch Wednesday night, but stayed in the game. X-rays were negative. ... Sizemore’s average dropped to .215 after he went hitless in five at-bats.