The Hit Parade Continues behind Zack Greinke: Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 1

Zack Greinke (pictured here during a home game) loves to swing the bat. Greinke was 3-for-3 in Arizona on Monday night, raising his batting average for the season to .370. Greinke also pitched 7 shutout innings in improving his record to 7-2. (Image source: Associated Press at http://binaryapi.ap.org/73c2f5f5d75f4912989913e2e69d0c47/460x.jpg)

Zack Greinke had been shaky his last few outings, though the backing of the Dodger offense had helped him to victories most of the time even when Greinke wasn’t his sharpest.

Monday night in Phoenix was a different story.  Not only was Greinke effective, but he out-hit the Diamondbacks during the seven innings he was in the game by a count of 3-2

Hitting was definitely the theme of the night for the Dodgers, who out-hit the Diamondbacks overall by a count of 17-4 and outscored them 6-1.  While this was not the Dodgers’ most efficient offensive output of the season (they left 11 men on base,) it was more than enough to back Greinke on a night when he gave one of this best efforts of the season.

The scoring started in the top of the fourth.  With one out, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier singled.  A.J. Ellis flew out to center field, then Juan Uribe came up with a two out single to center that scored Ramirez and gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

The Dodgers resumed their attack in the top of the fifth.  Greinke led off with a single, then after a Crawford fly-out, Yasiel Puig followed up with a single for this second hit of the game. Adrian Gonzalez also singled to score Greinke, then a Hanley Ramirez base-hit plated Puig to make the score 3-0.  Ramirez was caught trying to stretch the single to a double, then Ethier grounded out to end the inning.

The Dodgers didn’t finish their surge there.  In the top of the seventh after two outs and a walk to Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier’s double to right scored Gonzalez, then A.J. Ellis’s single to short right plated Ethier and the Dodger lead extended to 5-0.

The Dodgers did not score in the top of the eighth, but interestingly did elect to send Zack Greinke to the plate even though he had thrown his last pitch of the day.  Greinke responded with a single and finished the day 3-for-3 at the plate with a run scored.  His pitching line?  7 IP, 0 runs, 2 hits and 2 walks to go with 7 strikeouts.

Paco Rodriguez struck two batters out in a 1-2-3 eighth.  The Dodgers picked up an insurance run on an A.J. Ellis RBI single in the 9th.  The Diamondbacks scraped together a Paul Goldschmidt single, a fielders’ indifference and an Eric Chavez double to score their lone run off Jose Dominguez in the bottom of the 9th before Martin Prado flew out to Andre Ethier to end the game.

Greinke picks up the win, improving his record to 7-2 while his ERA falls to 3.91.  Randall Delgado picks up the loss, falling to 1-3.  Delgado gave up 3 runs on 11 hits in 6 innings while watching his ERA climb to 3.82.

Also of note: Hanley Ramirez’s 3-for-5 night extended his hitting streak to 19 and his batting average to .419.

The Dodgers continue their three game set in Arizona tonight at Chase Field, a 6:40 p.m. start local time.  Ricky Nolasco makes his first start for the Dodgers.  He’ll face Ian Kennedy (3-4, 5.16 ERA) who has had his share of problems this season but tends to pitch tough games against Los Angeles.

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