Zack Greinke has played a key role in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ recent success against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Looking to start 3-0 for the first time in five years, Greinke tries to help the visiting Dodgers to a fifth consecutive victory over the Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
Greinke (2-0, 3.27 ERA) went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts versus Arizona (4-9) last season and recorded both victories at Chase Field while yielding two runs and eight hits over 13 innings. He was 0-2 with an 8.71 ERA in four starts at Arizona prior to last season.
The right-hander, who last won his first three starts while going 6-0 in 2009, has allowed two runs in each of his first two starts this season – three coming on solo homers – and five other hits over a combined 11 innings. He lasted six and struck out eight without a walk during a 6-2 win over San Francisco on Sunday.
"He spoils us all the time," manager Don Mattingly told the Dodgers’ official website. "Zack’s one of those guys who’s as-billed. For me, it’s fun to see it (here)."
After opening the season with a two-game sweep of Arizona in Australia, Los Angeles (7-4) rolled to a 6-0 win Friday in its first visit to Chase Field since celebrating its NL West-clinching victory in the ballpark’s outfield swimming pool in September. Behind Hyun-Jin Ryu and Jamey Wright, the Dodgers (7-4) also recorded their first shutout at Arizona since a 1-0 victory July 27, 2003.
"You don’t get very many of these, where you score a few runs, everything goes good with your pitching, and there was really no true stress in the game," Mattingly said.
Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez each had three hits for the Dodgers, who have won 10 of 13 against the Diamondbacks and six of eight at Chase Field.
"That’s what we’re there for," said Gonzalez, who homered in his second straight game and had five RBIs. "That’s what we’re out here for is to try to get runs for our pitcher.”
Gonzalez is batting .321 (9 for 28) with three home runs and eight RBIs in seven games since going 1 for 13 with a RBI in the first four.
He’s 2 for 11 with two doubles against scheduled Arizona starter Wade Miley (2-1, 4.05).
The left-hander allowed two runs in eight innings of a 5-3 victory at Colorado on Sunday to win his second straight start since giving up three runs, three hits and striking out eight over five innings of a 3-1 loss to Los Angeles on March 22.
"He’s a bulldog," teammate Mark Trumbo said. "You know he’s going to go out there and give you every ounce of stuff that he has that day."
Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt was batting .485 during an eight-game hitting streak against the Dodgers that ended with an 0-for-4 night Friday.
The Diamondbacks are batting .156 while being outscored 16-6 in their three losses to Los Angeles this season.
Ramirez is 12 for 27 (.444) with six doubles and five RBIs in the last seven games, and 5 for 14 (.357) with a double and a home run versus Miley.