Zack Greinke is poised to finish with the lowest ERA in the majors, comfortably ahead of his closest competitor. If he can keep it up, he also has a chance of establishing the lowest ERA in Los Angeles Dodgers franchise history.
Greinke looks to continue his masterful season as he goes for the longest single-season winning streak of his career in Sunday’s finale of a four-game set with the visiting Cincinnati Reds.
Greinke (12-2, 1.59 ERA) is nearly one-half run better than the New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom for the best ERA in baseball. He’s also just behind Hall-of-Famer Rube Marquard’s franchise record of 1.58 from 1916, when the team was called the Brooklyn Robins.
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It’s also the lowest in the majors since Greg Maddux’s 1.56 with Atlanta in 1994.
Greinke owns a 1.15 ERA in his last 10 starts, winning all seven decisions over the past eight to match the longest single-season winning streak of his career from 2013 with the Los Angeles Angels.
The right-hander won again Tuesday, striking out six in six innings of a 5-0 victory over Washington. That came five days after his worst performance of the season, surrendering six runs in six innings of a 10-8 win at Philadelphia.
"Not easy, that’s for sure," Greinke said Tuesday. "I got in some jams early and was really trying hard to get the first guy out the rest of the game."
He’s 5-2 with a 2.75 ERA and 10.35 strikeouts per nine innings over 10 career starts against the Reds. He fanned 11 and allowed three runs in 7 2-3 innings of a 6-3 victory in the latest matchup at Dodger Stadium on May 27, 2014.
The NL West-leading Dodgers (66-51) have won eight of their last 10 at home, and they’ve won seven of nine there against the Reds (51-64) after winning 8-3 on Saturday.
Kike Hernandez is hitting .432 over his last 14 games. He hit a three-run shot in Los Angeles’ five-run second inning Saturday, giving him seven hits in this series while playing second base with Howie Kendrick (hamstring) on the disabled list.
Hernandez has been used at five positions this year.
"Being a utility guy in the minor leagues is what got me to the big leagues," Hernandez said. "I took advantage of my versatility, and that’s why I’m here – because I can play a lot of positions. We have a lot of everyday players, and I’m just a role player right now. I hope it’s different in the future – but for now, I’m all right with it as long as I’m on this team."
Yasiel Puig added a solo homer in Saturday’s second inning, finishing with two hits and a stolen base. The mercurial right fielder is 6 for 18 with two homers and six RBIs in the past five games after batting .153 over the 19 prior.
Cincinnati has lost eight of its last 11 and will turn to Anthony DeSclafani (7-7, 3.75), who is trying to become the first Reds rookie to win eight games in a season since Mike Leake did it in 2010.
The right-hander failed to do it last Sunday, allowing three runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 4-3 loss in 10 at Arizona. He’s still 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in his last three starts and 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 12 on the road this year.
DeSclafani earned a 13-3 win in his only meeting with the Dodgers on May 14, 2014, yielding two runs with seven strikeouts in six innings.