Greinke settles in, makes history after HR

Dodgers hurler first to fan 4 in All-Star Game since Pedro in '99

Greinke settles in, makes history after HR

CINCINNATI -- It was an uncharacteristically rough start for the National League's Zack Greinke in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile, which ended with a 6-3 American League win.

Greinke, who entered the game with a scant 1.39 ERA, got into trouble almost immediately, allowing a home run to American League leadoff hitter Mike Trout -- a line drive to right field -- on the fourth pitch of the game.

And this had nothing, he said, to do with the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. No, this had much more to do with the guy who hit the home run -- Trout.

"I think Mike just hit the ball well. It might not have been out of every park, but it was hit just well enough to get out," Greinke said. "It's not easy. You've got a two-inch window up in the zone. If you throw it higher than that, he takes it. If you throw it lower, he does what he did. I was trying to go a couple inches higher than that, and I just missed my spot a little bit."

Greinke then walked Josh Donaldson before starting to pitch much like the Greinke who has dominated opposing hitters at every turn in 2015, and he secured a little piece of All-Star history along the way.

Greinke struck out four of the final six hitters he faced before giving way -- a planned move -- to Gerrit Cole of the Pirates to start the third inning.

He became the first All-Star Game pitcher with four strikeouts since Pedro Martinez in the 1999 game.

How rare was the run against Greinke? Consider this: He entered the game not having allowed an earned run over his last 35 2/3 innings, dating back to June 13.

The last time a Dodgers pitcher recorded four strikeouts in an All-Star Game was in 1986, when Fernando Valenzuela struck out five consecutive hitters.

It wasn't so much allowing a home run right out of the chute that irked Greinke but more the fact that the loss gives the AL home-field advantage for the World Series -- where Greinke and the Dodgers aspire to end up come October.

"This game is probably more important than the regular-season games, for the most part," he said. "It's such an important thing to [have] home-field advantage, especially when you have as good of fans as we do."

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.