Without the injured Mike Trout at the top of the lineup, the Angels got nothing going offensively Sunday and took a 2-0 loss to the Rays in Zack Greinke’s debut.
Greinke, who was acquired from the Brewers on Friday, was strong in striking out eight over seven innings, but Jeremy Hellickson was better, blanking the Angels on two hits over six innings. Kyle Farnsworth, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney — the last two former Angels — finished the Rays’ second shutout in two days.
The loss was Greinke’s first in a home start since July 31, 2010, when he was still a member of the Royals. He went 15-0 during his 23 starts at Miller Park as a member of the Brewers.
Greinke allowed both Rays runs after pitching scoreless ball for five innings. The Rays led off the sixth and seventh innings with doubles and scored one run each time. The second run came on a wild pitch.
Greinke has now gone six straight starts without a win. He’ll miss the four-game showdown in Texas this week and make his next start against the White Sox on Friday. That could work out for him; he had his best start of the year against the White Sox in interleague play, pitching nine scoreless innings back on June 22.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.