Zack Greinke could appreciate the game Carl Crawford had against him.
Crawford had three hits, three RBIs, and stole his 49th base of the season, leading the Tampa Bay Rays past the Kansas City Royals, 10-4, yesterday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Rays’ All-Star left fielder went 3 for 3 against Greinke (10-7) after having just one hit in 16 previous at-bats against him.
“He hit a fastball away, a slow curve, and changeup down,’’ Greinke said. “He helped make it look worse than it could have been.’’
Willy Aybar hit solo homers from both sides of the plate for the Rays, who won nine of 10 games in the season series with Kansas City. Aybar homered lefthanded off Greinke in the fifth and went deep from the right side against Ron Mahay two innings later. He is 4 of 6 against Greinke.
Greinke allowed six runs and 10 hits over five innings, and is 0-4 in six starts since his last win June 28 at Pittsburgh. He is 0-3 in five career games, including four starts, at Tropicana Field.
“Today, it was just mainly bad pitching to start the game off,’’ Greinke said. “It really wasn’t them the first couple innings. It was more getting myself in trouble.’’
Tampa Bay lefthander Scott Kazmir (6-6) gave up three runs and six hits in six-plus innings. The lefthander was coming off a 6-2 win over CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees last Tuesday.
Royals bench coach John Gibbons filled in for manager Trey Hillman, who left the team after Sunday’s 4-1 win over the Rays to tend to a family matter. Hillman might return today .
Aybar’s second homer came in a four-run seventh that put Tampa Bay up, 10-3. Jason Bartlett, hitting in the leadoff spot because B.J. Upton was rested, knocked in two runs on his third hit, a triple to right-center.
Brewers 6, Dodgers 5 - Ryan Braun had a three-run homer among his four hits and Trevor Hoffman got Manny Ramírez on a bases-loaded fly to right to end the game as Milwaukee held off host Los Angeles.
Manny Parra pitched eight outstanding innings, but Milwaukee nearly blew a four-run lead after he gave up two hits to open the ninth. James Loney hit Hoffman’s first pitch for a two-run double, and Orlando Hudson drove him home to cut Milwaukee’s lead to a run.
After the Dodgers loaded the bases on a swinging bunt and a hit batsman, Ramírez came up with the crowd remembering his dramatic pinch-hit grand slam last month. But he could only manage the fly ball, keeping him without an RBI in 10 straight games.
Cubs 4, Reds 2 - Rookie righthander Randy Wells took a shutout into the eighth inning, and Mike Fontenot hit a three-run homer off slumping Aaron Harang, leading visiting Chicago past Cincinnati.
The Cubs have gone 20-10 since July 1, and are 13-5 since the All-Star break, the best mark in the majors.
Wells (8-4), a 26-year-old rookie, allowed six hits, including Alex Gonzalez’s solo homer, over 7 1/3 innings while getting his fourth straight victory.
Astros 4, Giants 3 - Geoff Blum and Kaz Matsui homered off Matt Cain and host Houston snapped the San Francisco ace’s six-start unbeaten streak.
Cain failed in his bid to become the fourth pitcher in Giants history to win 13 of his first 15 decisions in a season.
Tigers 6, Orioles 5 - Clete Thomas homered with two outs in the ninth as host Detroit rallied to beat Baltimore.
The Orioles led, 5-0, with one out in the top of the first, but never scored again. The game was tied at 5 going into the ninth, and Danys Baez (4-5) retired the first two batters, but Thomas hit a 1-2 pitch into the shrubs above the fence in center.
Diamondbacks 6, Mets 5 - Mark Reynolds hit two more home runs at spacious Citi Field, powering Dan Haren and Arizona over scuffling New York.
Reynolds and Miguel Montero capped Arizona’s three-run first with only the second set of back-to-back homers at New York’s plush new ballpark. Reynolds added a 420-foot, two-run shot off Nelson Figueroa in the second.
Nationals 8, Pirates 4 - Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman homered, helping visiting Washington beat Pittsburgh to earn a split of a four-game series between last-place teams.
Athletics 3, Rangers 2 - Pinch hitter Rajai Davis tripled down the right-field line to drive in two runs to help host Oakland slip by Texas.
Padres 4, Braves 2 - Mat Latos pitched seven strong innings and fellow rookie Will Venable drove in the go-ahead run and made a run-saving catch for host San Diego.