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Zack Greinke continues scoreless streak, finally has something to show for it

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Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Zack Greinke continued to put up zeroes on Sunday, and for a change the Dodgers did not with him on the mound, beating the Marlins 2-0 in the series finale on Sunday at Marlins Park in Miami.

Greinke pitched 7⅔ scoreless innings, running his consecutive scoreless streak to 20⅔ innings. He lowered his ERA to just 1.58, best in the majors.

Greinke struck out six, walked one and allowed four hits on the day, throwing 101 pitches in his 12th time allowing zero or one run in 16 starts this season.

Since Orel Hershiser's major league record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings in 1988, a streak that ended with five shutouts and a 10-scoreless-inning no-decision, there have only been four Dodgers with as many as three consecutive scoreless starts — Chan Ho Park (four straight, in 2001), Clayton Kershaw (four, 2014), Chad Billingsley (2010) and now Greinke.

Greinke also lasted at least six innings, as he has done in all 16 starts so far this season, the first Dodgers pitcher since Mike Morgan in 1991 to open his season with 16 straight starts of at least six innings.

But even with Greinke's stellar run, the Dodgers have not been supporting him of late, as he went nine starts without a win before Sunday despite allowing 12 total runs during that span. The scoring futility extended through the fourth inning on Sunday, which made 24 consecutive scoreless innings for the Dodgers offense with Greinke in the game.

But that streak was snapped in the fifth inning. The run, as you might imagine, was scored in bizarre fashion.

Jimmy Rollins opened the fifth inning with a sharp ground ball on which Dee Gordon made a fantastic play to field the ball, but a half-second hesitation in getting the ball out of his glove gave Rollins just enough time to beat the throw.

Flash back to the second inning when, after Andre Ethier walked home plate umpire Todd Tichenor yelled to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly in the first base dugout, "I'll watch it," presumably about Jose Urena 's delivery.

That planted seed bore fruit in the fifth inning with Greinke at the plate. Greinke laid down a sacrifice bunt but was called back because on the pitch Urena was called for a balk, advancing Rollins to second base. Greinke on the next pitch bunted again, this time advancing Rollins to third with one out.

After a walk to Joc Pederson, Howie Kendrick grounded to Gordon at second base. But before the sure double play thwarted the Dodgers rally, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria's throw to first was wide, allowing Kendrick to safely reach base, and Rollins to score.

That 1-0 lead was supported in part by a tremendous diving catch by Andre Ethier in the sixth inning with one out, robbing Gordon of at least a double. It was the kind of play that, had Ethier missed the catch could have easily been an inside-the-park home run.

The Dodgers added some insurance in the seventh with a two-out walk by Kendrick, followed by an opposite-field double by Adrian Gonzalez for a 2-0 lead. It was the first double since June 14 for Gonzalez, who pulled back into a tie with Anthony Rizzo for the National League lead with 23 two-baggers on the season.

Kenley Jansen allowed a leadoff double to start the ninth inning — to Christian Yelich, who was 6-for-7 with a walk in the last two games — but recorded the requisite final three outs to earn his 11th save. Jansen on the season has 26 strikeouts, and no walks.

Up next

The Dodgers move on to Arizona to face the Diamondbacks for three games, with Mike Bolsinger starting the series opener on Monday night at Chase Field. Old friend Allen Webster starts for Arizona.

Sunday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Zack Greinke (6-2): 7⅔ IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

LP - Jose Urena (1-4): 5 P, 4 hits, 1 run, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (11): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts