Zack Greinke’s return to Los Angeles was an historic one, and as far as the Dodgers were concerned for all the right reasons in a 10-2 drubbing of the Diamondbacks on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers hit five home runs against their former All-Star co-ace, the first time in 346 career starts Greinke has allowed that many in a game.
The third straight victory for Los Angeles vaulted them to four games ahead of the Giants in the National League West, their largest division lead of the season.
Greinke, who beat the Dodgers with seven strong innings on June 13 in Phoenix, made his first start back at Dodger Stadium since leaving as a free agent in the offseason after three years with the Dodgers.
It was a pitcher’s duel at first, with Greinke and Kenta Maeda matching zeroes through three innings, with six strikeouts for Greinke and five by Maeda.
Adrian Gonzalez struck first in the fourth inning, after a double by Corey Seager, hitting a pitch up around his shoulders over the wall in right field for a 2-0 Dodgers lead.
Then, in the fifth inning, the damn burst against Greinke.
Joc Pederson struck first with a one-out solo shot to center field, his 20th of the season. It gave the Dodgers four players with 20 or more home runs this season, the first time the franchise has done that since 2001.
Two singles later, Seager followed with a three-run shot to essentially put the game away at 6-0, then Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal added solo shots to widen the Dodgers’ advantage to 8-0.
It was the second time this season the Dodgers have hit four home runs in one inning, along with their 18-9 win on Aug. 22 at Cincinnati.
That ended Greinke’s night with two outs in the fifth, giving some fans the pound of flesh they wanted, the walk of shame back to the dugout after Greinke left to sign elsewhere for more money, $206.5 million over six years with Arizona.
To put Greinke’s eight runs allowed on Monday night in perspective, he allowed eight or fewer runs in four different months with the Dodgers in 2015, with a high of 10 in any single month.
Maeda kept the Diamondbacks at bay, at least until the seventh inning when two singles and a walk gave Arizona their first run.
Maeda won his 14th game, tying him for second-most wins by an LA Dodgers rookie with Hyun-jin Ryu (2013) and Kazuhisa Ishii (2002), trailing only the 17 wins by Rick Sutcliffe in 1979.
Corey Seager finished a triple shy of the cycle. He double was hit 38th of the season, tying with Freddie Freeman of the Braves, Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs and Daniel Murphy of the Nationals for the National League lead.
The Dodgers scored double-digit runs for the 12th time this season.
All nine starters scored at least one run, the third time they have done so this season. The club also did this on opening day in San Diego, and on June 5 against the Braves.
The Dodgers are now 37-8 (.822) when hitting two or more home runs in a game in 2016, including 22-4 (.846) at home. They are 17-0 when hitting at least three home runs.
When hitting five or more home runs in a game, the Dodgers are 46-3 all-time, with their last such loss coming July 20, 2003 against St. Louis.
Jesse Chavez pitched the eighth inning and Josh Ravin pitched the ninth, the first time the Dodgers have ever used the Chavez-Ravin combination in the same game, let alone at home, at Chavez Ravine.
Home runs: Adrian Gonzalez (17), Joc Pederson (20), Corey Seager (24), Justin Turner (25), Yasmani Grandal (24)
WP - Kenta Maeda (14-8): 6⅓ IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
LP - Zack Greinke (12-5): 4⅔ IP, 9 hits, 8 runs, 6 strikeouts