PHILADELPHIA -- Zack Greinke would owe his offense a big thank-you for bailing him out with a bunch of runs Thursday afternoon if he hadn’t been one of the hitters providing them.
Greinke pitched just fine after he got his first out, but he gave up five runs before getting there. He did, however, have three hits, including a home run, and scored three runs in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 10-8 win against the Philadelphia Phillies.
How it happened: Greinke seemed angry throughout the first inning. After he pounced off the mound and fielded leadoff hitter Cesar Hernandez's squibber, he threw it over Adrian Gonzalez's head. Greinke yelled something and kicked the grass. The next four batters reached base and they all scored. The last of them, Domonic Brown, hit a chest-high fastball into the right-field stands for a three-run homer. From that point through the end of the sixth inning, Greinke allowed just four more runners, striking out eight and giving up one more run. His 11th win wasn’t his most impressive, but he kept his Cy Young Award chances intact and improved his Silver Slugger chances considerably.
The Dodgers were all over David Buchanan's pitches. They scored three runs in each of the first two innings, capped by Gonzalez’s three-run homer, and Greinke hit a solo home run in the third. They kept up the pressure on Philly’s bullpen. Howie Kendrick had a two-run double to take the pressure off in the sixth.
What it means: The Dodgers provided Greinke with awful run support in May and June, but that is beginning to even out, it would seem.
Notable: Joc Pederson is trying to get out of his slump by being more selective and shortening his swing, and maybe it’s starting to pay off. The rookie center fielder singled to right field in the seventh inning, snapping a string of six straight hitless games. Pederson had walked eight times in his previous three games ... The Jimmy Rollins lovefest here continued with another first-inning ovation. In fact, fans actually cheered after Rollins hit a double off the right-field scoreboard in the sixth inning ... The All-Star break typically ignites Gonzalez’s bat. He has four home runs and four doubles in the 17 games since the break.
Up next: The Dodgers get another opportunity to prove they can beat contending teams with a three-game series in Pittsburgh starting Friday night. The opener features a great pitching matchup: Clayton Kershaw (9-6, 2.37 ERA), riding a 37-inning scoreless streak, against Gerrit Cole (14-5, 2.29 ERA).