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Zack Greinke continues role as Dodgers stopper

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- After Monday's defeat Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was asked what it would take for the team to stop its first four-game losing streak since 2013.

"Give the ball to Zack Greinke and take our chances," he said.

Mattingly was right.

Greinke pitched six scoreless innings on Tuesday night, allowing only six singles and a walk, his ninth scoreless start of the season. Greinke's nine starts of at least six innings and no runs allowed have been topped only three times in Los Angeles Dodgers history — by Sandy Koufax (12 in 1963), Don Sutton (10 in 1972) and Clayton Kershaw (10 in 2013).

Greinke has allowed zero or one run in 16 of his 23 starts in 2015, and lowered his major-league-leading ERA to 1.65.

"I didn't really think about Zack," Mattingly said on Tuesday. "He had the one bad inning in Philly, and after that he pitched pretty good."

Greinke struck out six but also threw 109 pitches, which helped end his night a tad early, though it was the 23rd time in 23 starts he has lasted at least six innings this season. Greinke, who is as open and honest with coaches about what he has left in the tank as any Dodgers pitcher, didn't feel the need to pitch the seventh inning.

"Whenever I've tried in the past to go deeper into games, it ended up backfiring. Maybe if I'm through five innings and 100 pitches maybe I'll stay in a little longer, but it changes how I pitch."

With the win, Greinke also improved to 24-6 with a 1.98 ERA in his 41 starts following a Dodgers loss, dating back to 2013. The Dodgers are 31-10 in those games.

Not that Greinke pays any attention to those numbers.

"It's probably good that I don't put any extra pressure on myself in those situations," Greinke said. "Whenever I try to do stuff like that, go deeper into games, try to strikeout more guys, the results end up getting worse."

Greinke, by the way, has a new scoreless streak, currently at nine innings and counting.

Up next

The Dodgers go for a series win on Wednesday night, with Kershaw on the mound in the series finale, facing off against Jordan Zimmermann.