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Zack Greinke has yet to beat one of his former teams

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- It is not often a pitcher starts against the same team in back-to-back outings, but Zack Greinke gets a second crack at the Brewers in the opener of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Friday night. Greinke also has an opportunity to do something he has never done.

Beat one of his former teams.

Greinke on Saturday allowed four runs in six innings in a loss to the Brewers in Milwaukee, dropping his record against his former teams to 0-4 with a 4.93 ERA in seven career starts, with 29 strikeouts and seven walks in 42 innings. His teams have dropped six of the seven games.

It didn't start out bad for Greinke, who allowed two total runs in 15⅓ innings in a pair of no-decisions against the Royals in 2012, one start with the Brewers and another with the Angels. But in the last two seasons, his starts against his old teams have been bad, to the tune of 0-4 with a 7.09 ERA.

Zack Greinke against his old team
Date Greinke team Opp Dec IP H R ER BB K
6/12/12 Brewers KC 7 6 1 1 0 8
9/15/12 Angels KC 8⅓ 5 1 1 2 3
5/21/13 Dodgers Mil L 4 9 5 5 3 1
5/27/13 Dodgers Ana 4 10 6 4 1 2
6/23/14 Dodgers KC L 5⅔ 11 5 5 0 4
8/4/14 Dodgers Ana L 7 6 5 3 0 5
8/9/14 Dodgers Mil L 6 8 4 4 1 6
Totals (0-4, 4.93 ERA, 1.476 WHIP) 42 55 27 23 7 29

If there has been any theme for Greinke in these starts, it's faltering early. He has allowed runs in the first inning in four of his seven starts, with eight total runs.

The first inning has been a problem for Greinke, who has allowed 16 first-inning runs in 24 starts this season. Those runs have come in all of six starts, but those games comprise six of his eight losses this season.

One of those losses came on Aug. 4 to the Angels, and Greinke explained his early-game issues.

"You try to establish your strike zone, throwing strikes, establish your fastball. That's what you usually do, but when guys get on base you start to mix it up," Greinke explained. "My biggest issue is that I haven't been able mix it up in time and locate with off speed early enough."

But Greinke returns home, where he is 6-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 10 starts this season, and his Dodger Stadium peripherals have been great. Greinke has 86 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 67⅔ innings.

His 31.6-percent home strikeout rate is the fourth-best in baseball, and his 27.6-percent strikeout-walk rate differential is also fourth (Clayton Kershaw, who starts Saturday, ranks first in both).

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA