Greinke dazzles, Goldschmidt thumps as D-backs roll past Rays
PHOENIX -- This is what the Diamondbacks undoubtedly envisioned when they surprised the baseball world and signed Zack Greinke last offseason: Greinke dominates on the mound, Paul Goldschmidt paces the offense, D-backs win.
Both superstars were slow out of the gate to start the season. Not surprisingly then, the team didn't play up to expectations either. But look much more like themselves of late and the progression back toward the norm reached its peak to date on Tuesday night.
Greinke dazzled like hadn't before in a D-backs uniform for nine innings and Goldschmidt homered as part of a three-hit game in a 5-0 victory over the Rays at Chase Field.
Greinke held Tampa Bay to three hits, walked two and didn't allow a runner to get to second base in his first complete-game shutout since the middle of the 2013 season.
"Everything was working right, or how you want it to and you get in a rhythm," said Greinke, who extended his scoreless streak to 16 innings and lowered his ERA 2.32 points in his last eight starts.
Greinke (8-3) won his fifth straight start, a run during which he has a 1.95 ERA, and his last four wins all came after a D-backs loss the day before.
"I don't really think about that too much," Greinke said. "In the past I used to try harder than I was capable of playing and a lot of bad things would happen."
It was all good Tuesday as Greinke pitched to contact and struck out just two. But nothing was hit hard.
"He set the tone," manager Chip Hale said.
Goldschmidt has set the offensive tone of late. He is hitting .405 (15 for 37) with five doubles and three home runs in his past 11 games. But it was Jake Lamb who drew first blood against Rays left-hander Matt Moore.
Moments after Hale was ejected for arguing a strikeout call of Brandon Drury, Lamb went with an outside fastball and clubbed it off the top of the left-field fence for a three-run home run in the fourth inning.
Lamb hasn't faced many lefties recently, but Hale before the game said it was a good matchup for the third baseman -- "Today is Jake's chance," Hale said. Lamb backed up his manager.
"You want to hit homers as much as possible, but it's an on-going process," Lamb said. "I want to be in there every single day, righty or lefty, but obviously I know the numbers and the struggles so far this season. But hopefully this is a step in the right direction.
"The way Zack threw today, he obviously only need one (run) but we got him some extra runs."
D-backs RHP Archie Bradley (2-1, 4.94) will face Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (2-3, 3.33 ERA) in Wednesday afternoon's series finale. Bradley is coming off a 10-strikeout performance against the Cubs. Odorizzi has seven no-decisions this season, the second-highest total in the majors.