By Joe Frisaro and Steve Wilaj
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
MIAMI -- The dry spell is finally over for Zack Greinke, who threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings in the Dodgers' 2-0 win over Miami on Sunday at Marlins Park. The victory was the All-Star's first since May 5, a span of 10 outings.
"A lot of stuff was working and I didn't have too many guys on base -- multiple guys in the same inning -- very often," Greinke said. "Just got some early outs, some good hits were hit at people and that made it a little easier."
Howie Kendrick delivered a fielder's-choice RBI in the fifth inning, and Adrian Gonzalez collected a two-out run-scoring double in the seventh. Behind Greinke's six strikeouts, the Dodgers rebounded from a 3-2 loss on Saturday to take two of three from the Marlins, who were held without a run over the final 15 innings of the series. Greinke lowered his Major League-leading ERA to 1.58.
Marlins rookie right-hander Jose Urena had a balk, and an unconverted double-play grounder hurt him in his five-inning, one-run stint. After Jimmy Rollins singled to open the fifth, Urena balked, moving Rollins into scoring position. Rollins scored on Kendrick's grounder to second that could have easily been a double play.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Missed chance at turning two: Miami's usually on-the-mark middle infield had a brief lapse that proved costly in the fifth. After the Rollins infield single, balk and walk, which set the Dodgers up at first and third with one out, Urena got what he was seeking, a ground ball. Kendrick tapped to second baseman Dee Gordon, but after getting the force at second, a hard slide by Joc Pederson led to shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria making an uncharacteristic wide throw to first, which pulled Justin Bour off the base.
"The double-play ball ... these guys have turned so many unbelievable double plays," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "It's the one time today we don't get that turned and it costs us."
Ethier robs Gordon: Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Gordon sent a line drive down the left-field line that looked like trouble for Greinke and the Dodgers. But left fielder Andre Ethier closed on it fast to make a diving catch just before the ball hit the ground, saving at least a double with the speedy Gordon running. The catch came with the Dodgers leading 1-0.
Greinke dominates again, finally gets win: With the Dodgers scoring a couple of runs, Greinke ended a nine-start winless streak. The righty threw 101 pitches, striking out six, walking one and allowing four hits. Over his past three starts, Greinke has logged 20 2/3 scoreless innings, and he has allowed more than one run only twice in his last 11 outings.
"This year it seems like he's been sharp from the very beginning," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Last year and the year before, it seemed like it took him a little while to get into the flow of the season. This year it seemed like he was just sharper right away." More >
Down on strikes: Miami was shut out for the sixth time this season, and a big reason for the inability to score on Sunday stems from an issue the Marlins faced all series. They didn't put the ball in play in crucial situations. They struck out eight times in the series finale, and 36 times in the three games against the Dodgers. In the ninth inning, after Christian Yelich's leadoff double, closer Kenley Jansen struck out Hechavarria and Marcell Ozuna before Derek Dietrich popped up to the catcher for the final out.
"We had too many strikeouts this whole series," Jennings said. "I know today we were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. That being said, Yeli gets the double in the ninth and we still have a look at the game and an opportunity. We've got to cut down on the strikeouts and put the ball in play."
"I seen him dance on the inside." -- Mattingly, on Greinke when the Dodgers scored a run with him on the mound for the first time in more than two games
"We know we lost a big bat in the order [Giancarlo Stanton], and he won't be there. So we're going to have to take better at-bats. Concentration is going to have to improve. We're going to have to put the ball in play and make the other team make the outs against us." -- Jennings, on Miami's sluggish offense
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When Gonzalez notched an RBI double in the seventh inning, it was his first double since June 14, and only his second in his past 22 games. Still, now with 23 doubles on the season, Gonzalez is tied with Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo for the most in the National League. More >
The Marlins won a replay challenge in the seventh, getting a quick overturn on what was initially ruled an infield single for Greinke. The pitcher chopped a grounder to short off Mike Dunn. Hechavarria made the backhanded play and threw across the diamond, but Greinke was called safe. After a review of 57 seconds, the call was overturned.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers: The club travels to Arizona to open a three-game set at Chase Field on Monday at 6:40 p.m. PT. Mike Bolsinger (4-2, 2.95 ERA), who beat the D-backs on June 8, gets the start.
Marlins: Off on Monday, the Marlins open a three-game set with the Giants on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. Mat Latos (2-5, 5.49 ERA) draws the assignment for Miami, with San Francisco going with Ryan Vogelsong (6-5, 4.05).
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.