The Dodgers got back on track, snapping a two-game losing streak on Friday night against the Giants, thanks in large part to the offense in an 8-1 win. But equally as dominant was Zack Greinke, who struck out 10 to snap a personal two-game losing streak of his own.
Greinke pitched seven scoreless innings, his seventh outing in 21 starts this year giving up one or zero runs. He improved to 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts against the Giants this season, and has three of the Dodgers' four wins against San Francisco in 11 meetings so far in 2014.
Greinke improved to 14-1 with a 2.03 ERA against the National League West in 22 starts since joining the Dodgers, with 139 strikeouts and 38 walks in 141⅔ innings.
With 10 strikeouts on Friday, Greinke reached 140 on the season, eight shy of his total for 2013. Greinke has pitched 46⅓ fewer innings this season than last.
Four of those strikeouts came for Greinke in the third inning, which included a wild pitch that allowed Hunter Pence to reach base. It was the second time in Greinke's career he struck out four in an inning, having also done so with the Angels on Sept. 25, 2012 in the fourth inning against Seattle.
Per MLB, Greinke is only the third pitcher with multiple four-strikeout innings, joining Chuck Finley (three times) and A.J. Burnett (twice) as the only pitchers to accomplish the feat more than once.
It was the fifth time a Dodgers pitcher struck out four in one inning, and the first since Brad Penny in 2006. The first such Dodgers pitcher to do so was Pete Richert, who struck out the first six batters he faced in his major league debut, all in relief on April 12, 1962 against the Reds. That was just the third game ever at Dodger Stadium.
Greinke's 10 strikeouts came with just one walk, his fourth double-digit strikeout game of the season, all with zero or one walk. His strikeout-to-walk ratio on the season is 5.00, fifth in the National League.
The Dodgers have seven games this season by starting pitchers with at least 10 strikeouts and no more than one walk — four by Greinke, two by Clayton Kershaw and one by Hyun-Jin Ryu — most in the National League. The Rays are the only major league team with more 10-strikeout, one- or zero-walk games, with nine.
Dodgers starting pitchers on the season rank second in the majors with 586 strikeouts, third with 144 walks, and first with a 4.07 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Kershaw akes the mound for the Dodgers on Saturday night in the second game of the series, facing Ryan Vogelsong for San Francisco.