Greinke sharp in Dodgers’ 6-1 win vs. Padres

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Zack Greinke doesn’t have
fond memories of his last outing at Petco Park. His return went off
without hitch.

Greinke allowed one run in eight sharp
innings, Adrian Gonzalez ended a wild Edinson Volquez’s no-hit bid with a
homer in the sixth and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego
Padres 6-1 Saturday night.

In his first outing in San Diego since
breaking his collarbone in a brawl with Carlos Quentin April 11, Greinke
had a season-high eight strikeouts. He allowed four hits and only
pitched to two batters over the minimum through seven innings in his
longest outing of the season.

“When he’s spot on with command, Zack is
a fun pitcher to watch,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Location
is such a big thing with him, and it was clear he was locked in. What
you saw today is what we expect from a pitcher of his caliber. Hopefully
he can keep going like this and help us turn things around.”

Mattingly hopes the Greinke’s outing
inspires his team to play better and live up to its vast potential —
and lift the team out of last place in the NL Central.

“I do think the team has been lacking
confidence,” Mattingly said. “If tough when you don’t win and you’re
stuck in last place and you’re not putting up runs with consistency.
When you go into that clubhouse and there’s no victory music playing too
often, it wears on your confidence.

“A win like this is what we’re capable
of when we put it all together,” Mattingly added. “Hopefully it’ll help
us gain some confidence as a club and help us get on a little run here.”

San Diego’s home winning streak was snapped at eight.

Volquez did not allow a hit until
Gonzalez, the former Padres first baseman, led off the sixth with his
ninth home run. But the Padres’ right-hander allowed a run in the fifth
on three walks and a fielder’s choice by Skip Schumaker.

Volquez lost for the first time in six
starts. Volquez allowed five runs — three unearned — and walked a
career-high seven in 5 2-3 innings.

“Volquez had a good moving fastball
working for him, but he got away with them swinging at a lot of balls
outside the strike zone,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Eventually,
the Dodgers walked. It finally came back to haunt him.”

The Padres remain the only major league team without a no-hitter.

Hanley Ramirez put the game out of
reach with a solo home run in the seventh he launched into the third
deck in left field that made it 6-0.

Quentin was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against Greinke.

The matchup didn’t enhance Greinke’s motivation.

“I don’t think much about it,” Greinke
said. “It seems like you guys do, but it’s just baseball to me. It felt
like any other start.”

Greinke didn’t allow a hit until the
fourth, when Chase Headley singled to right. He didn’t allow a run until
the eighth, when Jesus Guzman doubled in Yasmani Grandal from second
base.

Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth
and the Dodgers won for just the fourth time in 13 games. They’re still
mired in last place, but the win picked up the spirits of a floundering
club.

“You hope this is the start of
something special, a run that gets us back into the thick of things,”
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “Then again, we’ve thought that before
and said that before and it hasn’t happened. We just need to go do it.
It’s time for us to start playing better.”

Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig went 0 for 3 with two walks, marking just the third time in 18 games that he hasn’t gotten a hit.

NOTES:
Dodgers LHP Chris Capuano will starting Sunday’s game against the
Padres on short rest. Capuano asked for the opportunity following a
solid start Wednesday, his first since coming off the 15-day disabled
list. Manager Don Mattingly said he would be limited to roughly 75
pitches. . The Padres placed LHP Clayton Richard on the 15-day disabled
list with left shoulder inflammation and called up RHP Anthony Bass in a
corresponding move. Black said that RHP Tim Stauffer, RHP Tyson Ross
and LHP Robbie Erlin, currently in Triple-A Tucson, are candidates to
replace Richard in the starting rotation. . The Padres also promoted RHP
Brad Boxberger from Triple-A Tuscon and optioned OF Jaff Decker back to
Tucson. . Padres 1B Kyle Blanks was a late scratch due to back
soreness. Mark Kotsay played Blanks’ position and took his No. 5 spot in
the lineup. . The Dodgers released veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez.