MILWAUKEE — Carlos Gomez knew Zack Greinke was smiling when he struck him out with two runners on in the first inning.
He also knew exactly what his former teammate was going to throw him when he got up for his third at-bat of the day in the fifth inning. Gomez got exactly what he was looking for and laced a two-run double to left, ending Greinke’s day.
For the first time in his career, Greinke left Miller Park with a loss, as his return to Milwaukee was spoiled by the Brewers’ bats awakening for four runs in the fifth inning of a 5-2 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday night.
For Gomez and Greinke, it all stems back to a conversation the two had on the field at Dodger Stadium when the Brewers were in town in late April. Gomez told Greinke he can’t wait to face him, while Greinke quipped back that he was going to strike Gomez out.
“It’s a little bit exciting because we played two years with Zack,” Gomez said. “He’s a great teammate. It’s a little bit exciting. Especially me, I’ve faced him when he was in Kansas City and he’s had really good numbers against me.
“I was waiting for that pitch because the whole game he threw me six or seven pitches like that. I said ‘Probably in this situation he’s going to throw me that pitch and I’m going to be waiting for it.'”
An astonishing 15-0 at home while with the Brewers, Greinke allowed five earned runs on nine hits in four innings for his first loss in his former home ballpark.
“He was amped up,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Greinke. “It’s not like Zack to see 60 pitches, 30 strikes and 30 balls. I’m sure he was amped up trying to do the same thing to us as we were trying to do to him.”
Greinke said afterward he didn’t think about coming back to Milwaukee at all, but clearly wasn’t happy with the way he pitched against his former team.
“Everything was bad, not just command,” Greinke said. “Just no feel out there, no adjustments to be made. Started out bad. I got out of some jams early but never really got better.
“I have to be smarter out there. I was trying to throw most of the game, something I shouldn’t be doing.”
If anybody in the park Tuesday knew Greinke it was Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Battery mates for almost two years, Lucroy is also good friends with Greinke and saw exactly what Roenicke saw.
“From what I saw from him, I think he was trying to do too much,” Lucroy said. “Which is understandable coming back to a place where you had a lot of success, you play relaxed. Coming here as a member of the opposing team is a different experience. He made a lot of mistakes and we took advantage of them.”
Greinke was able to work out of jams in the first, second and fourth innings, but the Brewers finally capitalized in the fifth. Jean Segura led off with a triple and scored on Ryan Braun’s single one pitch later to tie the game at 2-all.
After an Aramis Ramirez bloop single, Lucory singled to load the bases. Gomez then delivered the big blow, doubling over Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford’s head to plate two runs and end Greinke’s night before he recorded an out in the fifth inning.
“That’s kind of the knockout punch type deal,” Lucroy said. “It was cool. It was a good feeling to get that big inning right there. Hopefully we continue to have more of them.”