Greinke's strong start leads Diamondbacks to 5-3 win over Yankees
PHOENIX -- Zack Greinke's final pitching line against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night was somewhat ordinary -- seven innings, five hits, three earned runs, seven strikeouts -- but the numbers don't necessarily tell the complete story.
This was the No. 1 starter that the Diamondbacks forked out more than $200 million to put in their uniform.
Greinke faced only three batters over the minimum through those seven innings, spotting his pitches with pinpoint precision and keeping the Yankees off balance with his changeup. He left with a 5-1 lead after two batters reached in the eighth, and both would come around to score, but there was nothing but praise in the D-backs clubhouse after they salted away a 5-3 victory over New York for their first series victory of the season at Chase Field.
"He was fantastic," said reliever Daniel Hudson, who took over in the eighth and momentarily added to the frenzy of the Yankee fans among the crowd of 30,913 by allowing both runs to score before striking out Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira to end the threat. The first batter he faced, Carlos Beltran, hit a potential double-play comebacker that Hudson could only knock down, allowing the first run to score, and Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a single to narrow the lead to two.
"I was disappointed to let those two runs in," Hudson said. "If I catch that comebacker, we get two (outs) and only one of them scores. But he threw the ball outstanding. He deserved a much better line than he had at the end of the game."
The victory did move Greinke's record above .500 for the season at 4-3, and though his ERA still stands at 5.08, a far cry from last season's 1.66 with the Dodgers, it's moving in the right direction.
"Just got to be consistent," Greinke said. "Too many bad games so far this year. If I have more games like this, that'll be all right."
After Hudson gave up Ellsbury's single to make it 5-3, the noise level from both the home-team fans and Yankees faithful picked up considerably. Gardner got ahead in the count 3-1 but got run up on a couple of borderline pitches and argued loudly with plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth. Hudson then got Teixiera swinging on four pitches, gesturing triumphantly as he walked off the mound and shouting something that he described as "blurry mouth."
"I don't know what I said, it was just kind of walking off the field screaming," he said.
Brad Ziegler then worked around a walk in the ninth for his eighth save of the year.
The Diamondbacks said they fed off the elevated energy level in the building.
"It was fun, there was a lot of energy," said third baseman Jake Lamb, who homered for the second consecutive game, a two-run blast in the fifth. "When Huddy strikes out Teixeira, the emotion that he had, it was cool. It was a really cool atmosphere, and it was a lot of fun."
The D-backs totaled 10 hits -- nine of those against Yankees starter Michael Pineda (1-5) in the first five innings.
Paul Goldschmidt and Welington Castillo had run scoring singles in the third to break a 1-1 tie, and Lamb's homer in the fifth after Goldschmidt walked provided the final cushion for what was just their seventh win in 23 home games. It ensured the D-backs of their first series win in seven home series this season, and they'll go for their first home sweep on Wednesday with Shelby Miller on the mound.
"We have not played well here and everybody in here knows it," Hudson said. "To get these first two wins against a good ball club over there is big for us."