Greinke rewards Hale's trust as D-backs top Dodgers
PHOENIX -- Three days after his trust in a starting pitcher was publicly questioned, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale was tested again.
With a one-run lead in the seventh inning Monday night, Zack Greinke was at 109 pitches. The tying run was at first base and the only part of the Dodgers lineup to have done any damage against the right-hander was coming up. Hale went to mound and not long later headed back to the home dugout.
Greinke, pitching against his former team and the one he spurned for $206.5 million in the offseason, then induced a fly out from Corey Seager, struck out Justin Turner and the D-backs held on for a 3-2 victory, their third in a row.
"He is very honest. That's the one thing Zack will give you is honest," Hale said of the brief conversation on the mound. "He felt like his stuff was still good.
"He actually probably made better pitches then than he had all night."
Seager and Turner each had two hits off Greinke earlier in the game and hit the ball hard every time. The only out either hit into before that inning was when Peter O'Brien robbed Turner of extra bases if not a home run in the fifth.
"I felt if I executed better I was have success," Greinke said. "I felt good. I told (Hale) I felt good and that if I made better pitches I'd get them out. So he said, 'Well, make good pitches.'"
Greinke did to finish off a season-high 119-pitch performance, win his sixth straight start and reward his manager for the trust.
It didn't hurt that Greinke was fueled with a little extra edge in facing the Dodgers, from whom he spent the three previous seasons.
"It was probably a little more (fun) than normal," he said, "but I've played on several teams. I'm used to facing previous teams. That really wasn't much. It was just the fans were pretty loud today so that it made it more of an intense game."
Greinke was booed by the Dodgers fans in attendance the first time he came to bat, before the D-backs fans reacted by cheering him before he belted a Mike Bolsinger fastball into deep center field that Joc Peterson finally hauled in at the wall. Greinke singled up the middle in his second at-bat.
The only two mistakes he made on the mound were a fastball that Turned slammed off the center-field wall for a RBI double in the first and changeup that Seager turned into a no-doubt homer to right in the fifth.
"He was good," Seager said of Greinke. "He was effective when he needed to be. He made pitches when he need to. He got out of close jams. It looked like you had him on the ropes and he got out if it."