Coming off Friday night's incredible comeback victory, the Dodgers came out for a day game on Saturday and carried that momentum for a 5-0 victory over Tampa Bay.
Zack Greinke held the Rays scoreless through 6.1 innings, giving up six hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. He labored through a few innings, with 20-plus pitches in the first, third and fourth and when he was pulled after 6.1 he had thrown 110 pitches. Saturday was the first game this season that he had more strikeouts than innings pitched.
Greinke's last three starts have been great, combining for 19.2 innings pitched, with four runs allowed on 19 hits with two walks and 18 strikeouts. The Dodgers have won three consecutive, eight of Greinke's last nine starts.
The Dodgers bats got an early start on their way to five runs with a Nick Punto infield single, complete with his signature head-first slide. Adrian Gonzalez then hit a no-doubt home run to the left field bleachers to give the Dodgers 2-run lead in the first inning.
Greinke walked to open up the third inning. A double from Carl Crawford moved him to third, and Punto drove them in with a single to center field for two RBI.
In the fourth they had a chance to completely rip open the game in a bases loaded, no outs situation. A.J. Ellis hit a sacrifice fly to center field, advancing each runner one base, bringing the score to 5-0.
But while at third base Juan Uribe had his head down, talking to third base coach, Tim Wallach. The entire stadium and broadcast seemed to miss it as Tampa Bay completed a quiet relay, with James Loney lobbing the ball, from the pitcher's mound, to shortstop, to third. Evan Longoria waited for Uribe to step off the bag and tagged him out for the 8-3-6-5 double play.
It was an odd and confusing sequence, that basically ended the Dodgers rally, but the fact they were leading 5-0 and never ended needing the runs makes it a pretty comical sequence.
The bullpen threw 2.2 perfect innings, with J.P. Howell throwing 0.2 inning and Chris Withrow closing out final two.
Sunday is the series finale against the Rays, and the Dodgers go for the sweep with Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
Tweets From #Dodgers Nation
Easy enough for you, Matthew?
Hey #dodgers, last night was fun, but how about you just win easily today?
— Matthew Reichbach (@fbihop) August 10, 2013
Hidden Ball Trick even had me fooled for a while.
Ha Uribe out on hidden ball trick. So weird when it works. #dodgers
— Joel Covey (@swissmt59) August 10, 2013
Lots of praise for Zack Greinke during and after the game on Twitter.
— Stephen Morrison (@Notsteve11) August 10, 2013
Standing ovation for Greinke #dodgers
— Leslie Villalta (@Hooters6669) August 10, 2013
Please, no more Miley!
Nick Punto and Miley Cyrus are a power couple. #Dodgers
— Nick Grodotzke (@nickgrodo) August 10, 2013