Greinke makes ‘too many mistakes’, loses again, this time to Cubs
PHOENIX — For Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs, the key to beating Zack Greinke was being aggressive at the plate.
That approach worked out well.
Greinke got off to a rough start and lost again, with Rizzo, Kris Bryant and the Cubs beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 Saturday night.
Greinke (0-2) gave up three runs in the first inning on four consecutive hits and a sacrifice fly.
"We did a good job of getting those runs early," Rizzo said. "He ended up settling, I guess, which he does to everyone, but those runs were huge for us."
Greinke signed a $206.5 million, six-year deal with the Diamondbacks as a free agent after going 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA for the Dodgers last season. Hit hard by Colorado on opening day earlier this week, the right-hander now has a 9.90 ERA.
"Too many mistakes, getting hit hard early and then started pitching better later. But not good enough so far," Greinke said. "I’ve got to start pitching better here on out."
Bryant doubled twice and Ben Zobrist had three hits for the Cubs. The Chicago hitters were talking among themselves in the dugout about to how to best attack Greinke, something they’ve been doing since the middle of spring training in games, and the dialogue wasn’t lost on their manager.
"Love it. When our guys go up to hit, it’s contagious and they talk. They’re talking that in the dugout. It’s not just happening at home plate. It’s beautiful," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Greinke retired the leadoff batter before Jason Heyward, Zobrist and Rizzo singled and Bryant hit an RBI double. Miguel Montero followed with a sacrifice fly.
In six innings, Greinke gave up four runs and seven hits, striking out eight and walking three.
Greinke has lost back-to-back starts for the first time since August 2014 with the Dodgers.
"Like we always say, we were all up there together," Rizzo said. "When someone’s hitting, we’re all in the box with him. It’s the way our team is and it’s a good mix right now."
Kyle Hendricks (1-0) pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning in his first start of the season, striking out five with a walk. He was sharp in spring training, in which he posted a 2.73 ERA in 29 2/3 innings and seven games, and struck out 30 with four walks.
"I was glad to get out there for the first one and kind of feel the same things as I was in spring," Hendricks said.
Hector Rondon earned his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth. That came after 1 1/3 hitless innings by Adam Warren.
Zobrist doubled home Dexter Fowler in the fourth to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead. The Diamondbacks scored in the bottom half when Hendricks threw a wild pitch that allowed Chris Owings to score.
Brandon Drury hit an RBI double in the seventh.
Diamondbacks pitcher Rubby De La Rosa, who went 3 1/3 innings in a loss to the Cubs on Thursday, relieved in the eighth and struck out two in a hitless inning. It was his first relief appearance since Sept. 27, 2014, for Boston.
Cubs: OF-C Kyle Schwarber will return to Chicago to meet with team doctors when the Cubs leave Arizona after Sunday’s game. He is out for the season after tearing ligaments in his left knee in an outfield collision with Fowler on Thursday night.
Diamondbacks: OF A.J. Pollock won’t be able to start baseball activities for at least three months, a team doctor said Saturday. Pollock has a plate and several screws in his surgically repaired right elbow, which he broke in a preseason exhibition game April 1. … P Josh Collmenter (right shoulder inflammation) had a slight setback in his return due to illness, but Hale said his shoulder is feeling much better and he will throw bullpen sessions in the coming days.
Cubs: Jake Arrieta looks for his second win of the season in as many starts. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner is 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA against Arizona in his career.
Diamondbacks: Shelby Miller (0-0) makes his second start for Arizona after a no-decision in his first. He’s 1-2 with a 2.83 ERA in seven career games against the Cubs.