Zack Greinke #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers leaves the game with a 6-2 lead during the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on August 26, 2013
After losing two in a row, and scoring just five runs with 11 hits in three games against Boston, the Dodgers got back on track against the Chicago Cubs with a 6-2 win in the series opener.
Zack Greinke was stellar, nearly pitching a complete-game shutout before giving up a two-run double in the ninth inning with two outs. He only gave up four hits and two walks up to that point with nine strikeouts, and was pulled out of the game for the final out.
Don Mattingly let Greinke stay in for a season-high 121 pitches, because the rotation will get an extra day of rest with the off-day on Thursday. Greinke has won five straight starts, and the Dodgers have won 18 of 22 games he has started in this season. It is almost to the point where every Greinke start is as much of an essential viewing as Clayton Kershaw's.
He also continued to perform beyond the mound, drawing a walk in the third and driving in the first run of the game in the fourth inning on an RBI single. Carl Crawford followed with an RBI double to give Greinke a 2-0 cushion.
After the series with Boston, it would not be a surprise if that was where the Dodgers stopped scoring, but they added on another five hits and two walks for four more runs. In the sixth, Nick Punto doubled in Mark Ellis, and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Carl Crawford.
Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez, who are both in offensive slumps right now, came through with some late-inning insurance. They both belted solo home runs for the team's final two runs of the game. The home run was Ramirez's only hit of the game, while Puig went 3-5 with a single, double, and the home run.
After Greinke was pulled, Brian Wilson came in to get the last out of the game, striking out Donnie Murphy. In his first three outings as a Dodger, he has pitched 2.1 innings and given up three hits and one walk for no runs with four strikeouts.
Those poor Cubbies. After getting just five hits off Greinke, they have to face Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday, and you cannot imagine they will fare much better.