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Smith, Walker homers spoil Greinke’s return to Arizona, 9-5


Smith, Walker homers spoil Greinke’s return to Arizona, 9-5

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PHOENIX – Christian Walker and Pavin Smith homered and Ketel Marte’s two-run double broke a fourth-inning tie when Arizona beat Kansas City 9-5 in Zack Greinke’s return to Chase Field on Monday night.

Royals right-hander Greinke (0-3) gave up seven earned runs, two homers and four walks, all single-game highs this season.

Whit Merrifield, Bobby Witt Jr. and Hunter Dozier hit bases-empty homers 13 pitches into the game, and the Royals added another run in the first inning for a 4-0 lead before suffering their second demoralizing loss in as many days.

Kansas City, which has lost five in a row and seven of nine, failed to hold a 6-0 lead after seven innings in a 7-6 home loss to Minnesota on Sunday.

Smith and Walker homered in the last of the first to cut the Kansas City lead to 4-3, and Arizona tied it at 5-all in third inning when Greinke walked the first two he faced and both scored.

Marte’s two-out double off Joel Payamps drove in two for a 7-5 lead, both runs changed to Greinke.

JB Wendelken (1-1) got out of a bases-loaded situation after replacing injured starter Zach Davies in the fourth inning for the Diamondbacks, who have won four of five.

Davies gave up eight hits and five runs before being knocked out of the game with right leg contusion when he was struck by Witt’s line drive that loaded the bases with two outs. Davies walked two and struck out two.

Greinke pitched his first game at Chase Field since July 20, 2019, 11 days before Arizona traded him to Houston. He joined the Diamondbacks on a six-year, $ 206.5 million contract in 2016, when his average annual salary of $ 34.4 million was the highest in major league history.

Greinke had given up two homers and four walks in his first eight starts over 44 innings this season. He struck out a season-high five.

Arizona first baseman Christian Walker is playing both sides of the ball. He hit his 11th home run to tie for the NL lead with Colorado’s CJ Cron.

Walker entered Monday’s game leading major league first basemen with seven “defensive runs saved,” as calculated by Sports Info Solutions. Kansas City’s Carlos Santana was tied for second with three. Walker was a Gold Glove finalist in 2019.

Merrifield stole a run for a 5-3 lead after singling to lead off the second inning. He stole second base with a head-first slide, and when a one-hop throw got away broke toward an uncovered third.

Geraldo Perdomo sailed a throw past third base and Merrifield got up from a head-first slide up beat a throw home, this time going in feet first.

Royals: OF Michael Taylor (undisclosed) missed his fifth straight game and has no timetable to return.

Diamondbacks: 3B Josh Rojas (left hand contusion) is to see hand specialist Dr. Donald Sheridan on Tuesday. He has not played since his top hand was hit by a pitch as he struck out in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. … C Carson Kelly (oblique) continues to do catching activity and hit off the tee. The Diamondbacks will “slow play” his return, manager Torey Lovullo said. “It may be considered a setback to some, but he is still doing a lot of baseball activity,” Lovullo said. … Three players remain in the Covid protocol: OF Cooper Hummel, C Jose Herrera and LHP Kyle Nelson. … RHP Luke Weaver (elbow) is scheduled to throw 30 pitches in an extended spring training game Tuesday. He is to return as a reliever. … RHP Keynan Middleton (elbow) is to throw a bullpen session Friday. … Arizona 3B Drew Ellis (right side discomfort) left the game after striking out in the second inning.

Diamondbacks ‘RHP Zac Gallen (3-0, 1.14 ERA) is to face Royals’ rookie RHP Jonathan Heasley (0-2, 4.32) in the final game of the two-game series. Gallen will enter the game 4 2/3 innings short of qualifying for the major league ERA lead. Heasley is to make his third major league start.

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