Jordan Farmar and Nick Young threw out the first pitches and the ball was then turned over to Zack Greinke as he looked to end the Los Angeles Dodgers’ two-game losing streak to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Matt Kemp was busy in the first inning, recording all three outs as Greinke retired the Phillies in order. Making his 2014 season debut, Cole Hamels also breezed through the first, picking up one strikeout in the inning.
Greinke had an easy second inning, recording two strikeouts in the second and the Dodgers went to work to give their right-hander run support. Kemp hit a leadoff double and advanced to third on a Scott Van Slyke single. With runners on the corners and no outs, Juan Uribe drove Kemp in on a sacrifice fly. Hamels then got Justin Turner to fly out and picked off Van Slyke to end the inning.
Greinke added to his strikeout total in the third, fanning Freddy Galvis and Ben Revere, keeping the Dodgers ahead at the end of the top of the third. The Phillies then got to Greinke in the fourth, cashing in on a Jimmy Rollins leadoff double. After the Ryan Howard single that drove Rollins in, Greinke struck out Marlon Byrd and Domonic Brown.
Kemp hit a two-out double, his second extra-base hit of the game, but he was stranded as Hamels got Van Slyke to fly out. As the Dodgers’ offense sputtered, their right-hander continued to be dominant in the fifth, striking out the side. Hamels began the bottom half of the inning by striking out the first two hitters, then allowed a single to Drew Butera and walked Greinke, which proved costly as Yasiel Puig broke the tie with an RBI single to left.
Once again pitching with a lead, Greinke worked around a Chase Utley two-out double and intentional walk to Howard to get out of the sixth with the Dodgers still leading, 2-1. Hanley Ramirez hit a leadoff double in the bottom half of the sixth, but as has been the case more times that not for the Dodgers recently, they were unable to drive him in.
At 91 pitches through six innings, Greinke took the mound in the seventh for the first time this season. Showing no ill-effects of his longest start in terms of innings pitched, Greinke recorded his 10th and 11th strikeouts of the game in another easy inning.
Jeff Manship relieved Hamels to start the bottom of the seventh and he fell victim to a two-out rally. A Silver Slugger in 2013, Greinke got it started with a double, which was followed by a Puig RBI triple to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. Perhaps as a result of being on the basepaths, Greinke allowed a leadoff home run to pinch-hitter Jayson Nix in the eighth.
Greinke was subsequently lifted from the game in favor of J.P. Howell. Despite the home run, Greinke extended his streak of allowing two or less runs in an outing where he went at least five innings to 17 starts. Howell kept the Dodgers lead intact by retiring the three batters he faced.
Building on his double earlier in the game, Ramirez gave the Dodgers an insurance run with a solo homer off Mario Hollands in the bottom of the eighth. The scoring continued as Van Slyke hit a one-out double and later scored on a Turner single.
With a 5-2 lead, Kenley Jansen took the mound in the ninth and earned his eighth save of the season by retiring the side in order.
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