One year removed from Clayton Kershaw throwing his first career no-hitter, Zack Greinke took the mound looking to snap the Los Angeles Dodgers’ three-game losing streak. Compounding matters for the Dodgers, all three losses came to the Texas Rangers, who they faced for the final time this season Thursday.
Greinke began the game getting the first three batters to all ground out on eight pitches in an efficient first inning. After batting leadoff Wednesday night, Yasiel Puig was back in the two-hole and he hit a one-out triple in the bottom of the first. However, as has been the case in recent weeks, the Dodgers failed to plate a runner in scoring position.
The second inning saw Greinke pick up his first two strikeouts of the game. Leonys Martin grounded out and it was six up and six down for Greinke at that point. The Dodgers got their second baserunner of the game when Anthony Ranaudo walked Alberto Callaspo with two outs. It didn’t spark a two-out rally as Jimmy Rollins swung on the first pitch and flied out to right field.
Both offenses still couldn’t going during the third. Two more Rangers went down swinging as Greinke’s strikeout total reached four. Pederson hit one to deep right, but it remained in the park and Shin-Soo Choo made the catch for the second out. The inning came to an end with Puig lined out softly to center.
After Choo hit a leadoff single in the fourth inning, Callaspo helped his starter out by making a nice diving backhanded grab to limit a potential double to just an infield single. It also prevented Choo from thinking about advancing to third. Despite facing two runners on with no outs, Greinke got out of the jam without surrendering a run. He first struck out Joey Gallo, then got Mitch Moreland to hit into a force out and Elvis Andrus flied out.
The Dodgers got their second hit of the night of a Howie Kendrick one-out infield single that went of Ranaudo’s hand. The Rangers starter also slipped off the mound and turned an ankle in effort to get to the ball, but he remained in the game. Ranaudo recovered to strikeout Yasmani Grandal a second time in the game and ended the inning on Andre Ethier’s fly out to the warning track in right field.
CONTINUE READING: Zack Greinke Dominates, Dodgers Win On Balk