Greinke works 5 strong innings, strikes out 7 in intrasquad game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Diamondbacks Opening day starter Zack Greinke flashed improved velocity while pitching five innings in an intrasquad game Monday on one of the practice diamonds at Salt River Fields.

Greinke unofficially was credited with 56 pitches and struck out seven batters. His fastball was timed in the 90-91 mph range, up about 2 mph from his most recent spring training appearance on Wednesday.

He gave up one run in the first inning, then retired the last 14 batters he faced.

“It worked out pretty good, and I think I got out of it what we wanted to get done today,” Greinke said.

Greinke pitched on the back field because the team had an off-day in its Cactus League schedule but wants to keep him on a regular five-day cycle leading up to his Opening Day start on April 2.

“Each outing’s gone a little better, which is good,” Greinke said. “A lot of times I’ll take a step back in one of the outings where it just goes really bad, but so far it’s been better each time.”