Final inning mars Greinke's strong start

Final inning mars Greinke's strong start

PHOENIX -- There was a span from the second inning to the end of the sixth inning Wednesday when Zack Greinke struck out seven and didn't surrender a hit.

It was what happened outside the parameters of those four innings, though, that came back to bite Greinke and the D-backs as they fell to the Dodgers, 3-2.

Greinke kept the Dodgers handcuffed for much of the game. He surrendered a solo shot to Cody Bellinger in the second and admitted it was the product of a changeup that caught too much of the plate. But from there, he didn't allow a batter past first base until Bellinger led off the seventh inning with a double, and it was then that things began to unravel.

Greinke retired Yasmani Grandal and Chase Utley before Joc Pederson scorched a double to right that left his bat at 111.6 mph, according to Statcast™, to score Bellinger and tie the game at 2. Yasiel Puig then poked a single to right that sent Pederson home for the go-ahead run.

"I just did a bad job that last inning," said Greinke, who lost at home for the first time this season after a franchise-record 10 straight home wins. "I felt pretty good, but I was too aggressive with the middle of the plate on Bellinger and he hit it really good, and then I threw a terrible pitch to Joc and he hit it good."

Pederson's game-tying double

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo took a visit to the mound to check on Greinke after the Bellinger double and said he was still comfortable with keeping Greinke, who had thrown just 89 pitches, in the game.

"I think a lot of the times, [the Dodgers] make me work," Greinke said. "If I get too aggressive, they can put together a bunch of good hits, so I have to keep pitching how I pitch and hopefully don't make any mistakes."

When Puig stepped to the plate with first base open, Lovullo had the option of intentionally walking Puig, or turning to the bullpen. He opted to let his ace go after one last out.

"We went back and forth with that," Lovullo said. "Intentional walks are very dangerous. Next thing you know, that run ends up scoring and you're several runs behind. At certain times, against certain hitters, I think they're the right move. And nothing against that particular matchup, I just thought Zack was throwing the ball extremely well. He'd handled Puig and I just thought he was going to go out and execute and make pitches to get that out, walk off the mound and give himself the chance to win."

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for based in Phoenix. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.