The pitching matchup wasn’t quite as extraordinary as expected, but in a good way for the Dodgers, who had their way with Zack Greinke in a 7-1 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
A pair of warning track fly balls in the first inning, by Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez, was reminiscent of the Dodgers offense this week at Wrigley Field, where they scored four total runs in three games against the Cubs.
The Dodgers scored more than that against Greinke on Friday night.
This time, it wasn’t the power that stung Greinke, like the five home runs he allowed in his first time back to Dodger Stadium last September. On Friday, the Dodgers used a volume approach, and bunched together their hits.
Four straight singles scored a pair of runs in the third inning, then in the fourth inning a single and a walk with two outs were followed by a two-run double from Justin Turner to double the Dodgers’ lead.
Two more hits in the fifth led to a sacrifice fly from Yasiel Puig, and an early end to an otherwise long night for Greinke, who labored through five innings with 107 pitches.
In his 46 home starts as a Dodger, Greinke never allowed more than four earned runs. In his two starts at Dodger Stadium since leaving, he has allowed eight and now five runs.
The Dodgers got to Greinke for 10 hits and three walks on Friday, the 13 baserunners his most allowed in a start since July 3, 2013. Corey Seager had two singles and two walks — reaching base all three times he faced Greinke — scoring two runs, and in his career has reached base 10 times in 13 plate appearances against Greinke.
Clayton Kershaw, meanwhile, more than held up his end of the bargain, taking a shutout into the ninth inning.
He retired the first 10 batters of the game before allowing a single to Chris Owings in the fourth inning. Then Kershaw walked his first batter of the season, but it was to Paul Goldschmidt, who is a career .728 hitter with 437 home runs against the Dodgers* so it was understandable.
After those two disruptions in the fourth inning — who didn’t score, by the way — Kershaw followed that up by retiring the next 12 batters he faced.
Kershaw needed just 100 pitches in his 8⅓ innings, and struck out eight. The only run came on an RBI double by Owings with one out in the ninth.
On the season, Kershaw has 22 strikeouts and one walk in 21⅓ innings. He had 16 strikeouts before than first walk, matching 2013 for his most strikeouts to start a season before his first walk.
Kershaw in his career against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium has allowed 15 total runs in 12 starts, 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA, 78 strikeouts, and 21 walks in 74⅔ innings.
Pedro Baez, who was activated from the disabled list before the game, walked a batter — again, Goldschmidt — but got the final two outs in the ninth in his first appearance of the season.
*Stats are estimated
Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles added to the Dodgers’ bounty of runs with a two-run home run in the eighth inning, and was 2-for-5on the night. Toles is now tied with Yasiel Puig for the team lead in home runs, and has hit one in each of his last three starts.
Saturday is Jackie Robinson Day, with the unveiling of a statue of Robinson kicking things off at 3 p.m. PT. The game, a 6:10 p.m. start, will feature Kenta Maeda on the mound for the Dodgers against left-hander Patrick Corbin.
Home run: Andrew Toles (3)
WP - Clayton Kershaw (2-1): 8⅓ IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
LP - Zack Greinke (1-1): 5 IP, 10 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts