KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Johan Oviedo pitched a two-hitter for his first complete game in 53 major league starts, Ke’Bryan Hayes had four hits and Zack Greinke lost his ninth consecutive decision in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 5-0 win and the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
Oviedo (8-13) struck out five and walked two while throwing a career-high 112 pitches.
“He was on point the entire game,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “When he got behind he was able to execute..”
It was just the 28th complete game in the major leagues this season and the first complete game in 150 professional starts for the 26-year-old right-hander dating to 2016. Oviedo had never before gotten an out in the eighth inning, must less pitch the ninth.
“I was trying not to think about anything,” Oviedo said. “I was very excited. I tried to just check my mind and make good pitches.”
Catcher Endy Rodríguez lobbied Shelton and pitching coach Oscar Martin to allow Oviedo to finish.
“Going into the ninth, I didn’t plan on pitching him, because he was at 97,” Shelton said of the pitch count. “I figured that was good. Endy Rodríguez made a pretty strong push. He kept saying, ‘Let’s go, he’s fine.’ … I figured: young catcher feeling it. We were hitter by hitter, but it was good for Endy and good for Ovi.”
Pittsburgh won at Kansas City for the first time since Aug. 20, 2015.
Kansas City (41-92) didn’t advance a runner past first base. The Royals were blanked for the 14th time this season and held to two hits or fewer for the eighth time.
“We didn’t put too many good swings on him,” Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro said.
Greinke (1-13) gave up two runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, dropping to 0-9 in 17 starts since beating Baltimore on May 3. The 39-year-old right-hander is tied with Oviedo, Kyle Freeland and Rich Hill for second in the majors in losses, trailing only teammate Jordan Lyles at 15. Grienke had only one 1-2-3 inning.
“He was a little bit off with his command,” Quatraro said. “It’s amazing how he can compete and get out of trouble. There’s a reason he’s been doing this for as long as he has.”
Hayes singled in the first, hit an RBI double in the third for a 2-0 lead, singled in the fifth to chase Greinke and singled in the seventh against Taylor Hearn. Hayes is hitting .438 (21 for 48) since Aug. 9 with four doubles, four home runs and eight RBIs.
“I’ve been putting good at-bats together and hitting the ball hard,” Hayes said. “We were able to find some holes. It feels good whenever you can find a hole.”
Alfonso Rivas hit a run-scoring double-play grounder in the second first after Rodríguez’s leadoff single and walks to Jack Suwinski and Liover Peguero.
Andrew McCutchen and Joshua Palacios had RBI singles in the seventh off Hearn. and Rivas doubled in a run in the eighth against Jackson Kowar.
Royals: RHP Brady Singer is going to miss his next turn Wednesday. Manager Matt Quatraro said Singer has shown signs of arm fatigue but there is nothing physically wrong.