Peoria, Ariz. Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke was touched up for five earned runs, six hits and three walks in his final spring start by the San Diego Padres, who played to an 8-8 tie with the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
Jon Garland, San Diego’s opening day starter, allowed two runs and four hits in five innings.
Chase Headley homered in the second inning off Greinke and also had an RBI double to finish the spring with 23 runs batted in.
Scott Hairston also homered off Greinke, who worked 51⁄3 innings.
Greinke threw 54 strikes in 94 pitches and ended spring training with a 3-0 record and a 4.29 earned-run average.
He went 16-8 with a big-league best 2.16 ERA last season for the last-place Royals.
The Padres are 15-2-2 in their last 19 games this spring after starting with a 2-8 record.
“We’re a good team,” Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. “Every game we got out there, we’re going to go out there with the mentality that we can win this. Not because we want to believe that but it’s because we can.
“The way we’ve finished this spring, we’ve lost one or two times in the last week. And everybody’s leaving their starters in for seven innings. It’s not like we’ve been winning at the end.”
Will Venable hit an opposite-field three-run homer for San Diego.
The Padres sent left-handed pitcher Wade LeBlanc to Triple-A Portland and awarded the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation to Clayton Richard and Mat Latos. Manager Bud Black also said the team is likely to place left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher on the disabled list to start the season. Thatcher, who has a sore shoulder, played catch on Wednesday but it’s unclear when he will throw in the bullpen.