Zack Greinke sharp in 500th career start, Royals beat Rangers 2-1

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Zack Greinke allowed just one run on four hits, helping the Kansas City Royals avoid a three-game sweep by beating the Texas Rangers 2-1.

Kansas City’s Kyle Isbel provided the winning cushion with his second home run in as many games.

Greinke (2-4) made his 500th career start, the 48th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to do so and the only active pitcher to reach that milestone. He went six innings, striking out three and walking one.

Three Royals relievers combined for three strikeouts and one hit allowed over three innings, and Scott Barlow picked up his 10th save in 12 chances with a perfect ninth inning.

Texas’ Dane Dunning (1-6) suffered his first loss when allowing fewer than three runs this season. He gave up six hits in six innings, walking three and striking out three.

The Royals scored a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by MJ Melendez. Hunter Dozier was thrown out at the plate trying to make it 2-0.

The Rangers’ Leody Taveras tied it in the fifth with a leadoff home run that just cleared the wall in right field. It was his first homer of the season.

Isbel answered that with his second home run of the season, a line drive into the seats in right field.

GREINKE-GRAM

Greinke was drafted sixth in the first round of the 2002 draft and spent his first seven years with the Royals, returning for a one-year contract this past offseason.

TRAINERS ROOM

Rangers 3B Josh Smith was back in the lineup after leaving Tuesday’s game with a right calf contusion after fouling a ball off his leg.

UP NEXT

The Rangers and Royals both have Thursday off. The Rangers will open a three-game series in New York against the Yankees; the starting pitchers have not been determined. The Royals will open a three-game series in Detroit. RHP Brad Keller (2-9, 4.56 ERA) will start for KC, with Detroit’s starter to be determined.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.