Greinke still looking for dominance at home
PHOENIX -- It was not what Zack Greinke expected of himself, and not what the Diamondbacks expected when they signed him to a record contract, but his performance Thursday was good enough to get the team a win according to his manager.
Greinke again was made to pay for a couple mistakes and gave up four runs in six innings of an eventual 4-2 loss to the Giants at Chase Field.
The way things went at home last month, though, it was an improvement. The right-handed ace, of course, wasn't close to satisfied. Manager Chip Hale, however, said Greinke should have been saddled with a no-decision at worst.
"Four runs in our ballpark, we should be able to counter that," said Hale, whose club lost for the 13th time in 18 home games.
Greinke blanked the Giants on one hit through the first three innings in a duel with Johnny Cueto. But San Francisco tallied seven hits and four runs in the fourth and fifth. The Giants collected four hits the second time through the order, and three and a walk on the third pass.
Among the cluster in the fifth was a two-run home run by Joe Panik that put the Giants up 4-1. It was the sixth homer against Greinke in five home starts -- he has not given home a homer on the road.
Greinke's home ERA climbed to 7.28 and his overall ERA to 5.26.
"Four can be overcome but you don't want to give up four, especially," Greinke said. "With (Cueto) pitching, you'll lose more than you'll win giving up four, I think.
"They had some good at-bats, took some close pitches and were ready to hit anytime I made a mistake."
The D-backs had a chance to lessen the sting of those middle innings. They left five runners on base in the first five innings, when they had a chance to expand on a first-inning lead, and six more in the final four innings, including the bases loaded in the ninth when Jake Lamb grounded out to end the game.
The D-backs were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Paul Goldschmidt, who at the end of the recent road trip started to look like the hitter the D-backs are accustom to, grounded into a double play and struck out twice in his first three at-bats, all with a pair of runners on base.
"He's our guy in the middle but sometimes it doesn't happen and other guys have to pick him up," Hale said of Goldschmidt, who is hitting .232.
Goldschmidt also struck out in the seventh before he was pitched around in the ninth to load the bases and put in the tying run in scoring position.
"Obviously I could be playing better but it hasn't happened, so it's in the past," Goldschmidt said. "It's just part of the game. It's not something that's super-duper easy (to put it in the past), but it's something that guys have been doing since Little League. It's just part of it."