Dodgers Take Series Over Washington as Zack Greinke Makes Triumphant Return

Dodgers 3 9 0

Nationals 1 9 0

WP- Greinke (2-0)

LP- Detwiler (2-4)

S- League (9)

HR- LaRoche (4)

Zack Greinke is a quirky ace that mixes location with his pitches and sneaks in that changeup. Greinke made his third start of the year after returning earlier than expected after collarbone surgery. The Dodgers lost their second ace last month in the melee with San Diego where Carlos Quentin charged Greinke, fracturing his collarbone on impact. Greinke pitched a little over five innings, and his only mistake was a solo homerun to Adam LaRoche. The pitcher also knocked in a run in the second inning with a RBI single. The bullpen narrowly escaped jams in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Here’s how it all happened…

 

Zack Greinke can hit too! Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Greinke retires Denard Span on a fly ball to Scott Van Slyke in left field to open things up in the top of the first. Steve Lombardozzi and Ryan Zimmerman also make out, and Greinke’s return to the mound begins with a 1-2-3 inning.

Dee Gordon is out by a hair at first on an attempted bunt hit. Ross Detwiler throws him out just in time. Nick Punto flies out. Matt Kemp extends hit hitting streak to 14 games with a ground-rule double over the right field corner wall. Adrian Gonzalez singles up the middle, and Matt Kemp brings in a run for the Dodgers as they take a 1-0 lead.

Greinke’s collarbone seems just fine as he strikes out Adam LaRoche in the top of the second. Washington’s first base hit comes on a Wilson Ramos double with two outs. Danny Espinosa flies out to end the frame.

The Dodgers notch another run in the home half of the second thanks to a Zack Attack. Andre Ethier leads off the inning with a single, and Scott Van Slyke draws a walk. Juan Uribe grounds into a double play, and Dre advances to third base on the play. Zack Greinke, who has a stabilizing rod in his collarbone, strokes a single to right field which brings in Ethier to score! 2-0 Dodgers. Dee Gordon grounds out to end the inning.

In the third, Roger Bernadina leads off with a single for the Nats. Ross Detwiler successfully sacrifices Bernadina to second. Span and Lombardozzi both fly out to left field.

In the bottom of the third Nick Punto singles to lead-off, Matt Kemp lines out, and Gonzo grounds into a force. A.J. Ellis follows with a single, and Dre gets on again by walking. Ryan Zimmerman frustratingly robs

The Dodgers got somewhat lucky with the injury to Bryce Harper. He pinch-hit in Wednesday’s game. Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Van Slyke to end the inning and strand all the runners.

After Greinke strikes out Zimmerman, the Nats get on the board in the top of the fourth after Adam LaRoche crushes a hanging 81 mph change  by Greinke for a solo shot. The lead is cut in half, 2-1. Desmond pops out. Wilson Ramos singles to left, but he has to come out of the game with an injury. He was slowly running to first base on the hit. Kurt Suzuki  comes in to pinch-run for Ramos. Espinosa strikes out swinging to end the inning.

The Nationals will go into the pen after Detwiler has to come out with an injury. Right-hander Craig Stammen will come in for the bottom of the fourth. Uribe grounds out, and Zack Greinke strikes out. Dee Gordon strikes out, and the Dodgers go down 1-2-3.

Greinke strikes out Bernadina in the top of the fifth. That’s his fourth strikeout of the game. Stammen flies out to right. Span singles to center. Lombardozzi grounds out to end the inning.

Stammen is still in for the bottom of the fifth. Punto flies out, and Matt Kemp strikes out. Gonzalez hits a two-out single to extend the inning. A.J. Ellis pops out.

In the sixth, Greinke is lifted after retiring Ryan Zimmerman on a ground out. Zack Greinke pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed 1 run on 5 hits with 4 strikeouts and no walks on 83 pitches. J.P. Howell is brought in to pitch to Adam LaRoche. LaRoche strikes out swinging, and Davey Johnson briefly goes out to argue with the home plate ump to no avail. Ian Desmond draws a walk, and that’s the first walk allowed by the Dodgers this game. Don Mattingly will now bring in Matt Guerrier to face Suzuki. The catcher promptly singles to center field, and Desmond moves over to third. Espinosa luckily grounds out to second to end the inning. Phew.

High sock wearin’ Stamman is still in for the bottom of the sixth. Ethier singles after the ball bounces off the glove of a diving Desmond at short. Van Slyke erases Dre’s hit by grounding into a 6-4-5 double play. Uribe flies out.

Paco Rodriguez will pitch the seventh inning for the Dodgers. Bernadina strikes out swinging on a check swing. Pinch-hitter Tyler Moore is called out on strikes, and he walks muttering back to the dugout. Span draws a two-out walk. Mattingly makes yet another pitching change, and he’ll bring in Kenley Jansen to With Lombardozzi at the plate, A.J. throws out Span while attempting to steal!

Tyler Clippard will pitch the bottom of the seventh for Washington. Clippard whiffs both Skip Schumaker and Dee Gordon. Punto pops out, and the Dodgers go down in order.

Kenley is in for the top of the eighth inning. Lombardozzi singles to lead-off for the Nationals. Zimmerman singles to right field, and pinch-runner Eury Perez advances to third. LaRoche flies out to left field for the first out. While Desmond is striking out, Zimmerman takes second. Suzuki flies out to Dre, and Kenley wiggles out of the jam!

Drew Soren comes out of the Washington pen for the bottom of the eighth. Matt Kemp leads off with a single. With Gonzalez at the plate, Matt Kemp steals second. That’s Bison’s 6th stolen base of the year. Gonzalez walks. Mattingly is at it again, and he asks A.J. to sacrifice. The Dodgers now have runners at second and third with one out. They intentionally walk Ethier to load the bases up. Carl Crawford will pinch-hit for Van Slyke. A deep fly ball from Crawford brings in Kemp, and the Dodgers now lead by two. Tim Federowicz will pinch-hit for Jansen, and he hits a little dribbler to end the inning.

Brandon League comes in for the ninth in the save opportunity. Danny Espinosa promptly singles to lead off. Bernadina grounds out. Bryce Harper comes in to pinch-hit complete with a bandage on his neck from the 11 stitches he received after crashing into the outfield scoreboard at Dodger Stadium Monday night. Miraculously Harper grounds out to first. Espinosa moves over to third with two outs. Span grounds out to short, and the Dodgers win!

Brandon League picked up his ninth save of the season. The Dodger bullpen preserved the win for Greinke, although it wasn’t easy. The Dodgers now look for momentum as they leave for a tough road trip. Greinke’s return to the rotation and Mark Ellis‘s eventual return hopefully can add strength to this depleted team.

Tomorrow the Dodgers have off before they leave for Atlanta. The three-game series at Turner Field will begin on Friday with a 4:30 p.m. game featuring Hyun-jin Ryu and Paul Maholm.

Topics: Los Angeles Dodgers, Ross Detwiler, Washington Nationals, Zack Greinke

Want more from Lasorda's Lair?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.