KC Royals: 3 big things to watch for against Oakland

(Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Home from a rare winning road trip, the KC Royals enjoyed a day off Thursday before beginning their final homestand of the month tonight against Oakland.

Kansas City went 5-4 and won two of three series during their 10 days on the West Coast, taking two of three from the A’s and Angels after beating the Giants only once in three tries.

The journey gave the Royals their first back-to-back series wins of the season and those five victories enabled them to reach nine for the month; they need to win only one of six remaining June games to better their 9-20 May record.

That victory should come against Oakland. The A’s offered Daniel Lynch and Brad Keller little resistance in losing the first two games the clubs played last week, and Brady Singer pitched well enough to win before the bullpen didn’t in the series finale (more on that later). Keller (Saturday) and Singer (Sunday) are slated to face Oakland again this weekend.

And Zack Greinke makes his return to the mound tonight, one of three things fans should keep their eyes on against Oakland.

How will KC Royals starter Zack Greinke fare when he rejoins the rotation?

Greinke’s reunion with the Royals certainly hasn’t been what he or the club wanted. Although he started the season well—he had a 2.67 ERA through his first six starts and would have won a few games save for the poor run support he received—he gave up 19 runs in 18 innings over his next four starts and landed on the Injured List with a flexor strain and an 0-4, 5.05 ERA record May 30.

Now, two good rehab assignment starts at Triple-A Omaha later, the Royals feel he’s ready to return. He pitched four perfect innings in a four-strikeout, no-walk, five inning stint against Lehigh Valley June 12, then gave up three runs in seven innings against Iowa six days later. Greinke won both games.

He’ll battle Oakland’s Cole Irvin (2-4) tonight.