Votto Homers Twice In Loss To Royals

CINCINNATI (AP) - Zack Greinke was due, and Reds manager Dusty

Baker knew it.

"You're always a little apprehensive and nervous when a guy of

that quality is 1-8," Baker said. "You figure the law of averages

is on his side."

Greinke struck out 12 in a five-hitter, ending a personal

four-start skid and leading the Kansas City Royals to a 7-3 victory

over Cincinnati on Sunday.

Greinke (2-8) allowed two solo homers to Joey Votto but was in

control throughout his first victory since May 13 against Cleveland

and his second complete game of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner benefited from some rare

run support. Kansas City hadn't scored more than six runs in any

game while Greinke was on mound.

"One or two runs don't matter, but getting four runs at the end

of the game made it a lot easier to pitch," he said.

Billy Butler set season highs with four hits, including a homer,

and four RBIs for Kansas City, which took two of three in the

weekend series. David DeJesus went 3 for 3 with a homer and scored

four times.

"We've had a stretch of games where we haven't scored a lot of

runs," Butler said. "I hadn't been able to get the pitchers to

come to me. They were pitching me tough - pounding me inside.

Today, I was able to get them to come to me. I was able to stay

back on the off-speed pitches."

The Royals scored six runs with two out, including Butler's

two-run shot in the fifth that gave them a 3-2 lead. DeJesus

singled and stole second before Butler hit a 1-0 pitch from Sam


May 26 against Texas.

Butler added a two-run double in the seventh after the Royals

chased LeCure (1-3), making it 5-2.

"That double to right field was huge," Kansas City managed Ned

Yost said. "As long as he's driving in runs, I don't care how he

does it."

Butler also doubled in the ninth to make it seven hits in his

last eight at-bats.

LeCure allowed four runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. The

rookie right-hander has faced Cy Young winners Greinke and St.

Louis' Chris Carpenter and tough San Francisco starter Matt Cain in

his last three games.

"I plan to play this game a long time, and if I want to be

considered legitimate, then I have to prove that I can beat those

guys," LeCure said.

DeJesus connected in the ninth against Nick Masset, hitting the

struggling reliever's first pitch to him deep to center.

Votto hit his 13th homer in the bottom half but Greinke

responded by striking out Jonny Gomes and Jay Bruce to end the


"You can see why he won the Cy Young Award," Baker said.

Votto also went deep in the first and Miguel Cairo had an RBI

groundout as Cincinnati took a 2-1 lead.

NOTES: Royals C Jason Kendall went 0 for 5 and is mired in a

1-for-28 skid. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips was scratched with a

cramp in his right hamstring, which also forced him out of a game

against Pittsburgh on May 27. Phillips had started every game this

season and missed just five innings. His 15-game hitting streak is

Cincinnati's longest of the season and the longest current streak

in the majors.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)