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Greinke Shuts Down Padres in Dodgers’ 6-1 Win


The last time Zack Greinke pitched in San Diego, things got ugly. He made sure that didn’t happen on Saturday.

Last night, Greinke made his first start at Petco Park since breaking his collarbone during a bench-clearing brawl earlier this season and exacted his revenge against the San Diego Padres in the more traditional way of simply shutting them down. Greinke allowed just one run over eight strong innings while striking out eight, effectively silencing the crowd and the Padres’ bats in the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ 6-1 win.

“When he’s spot on with command, Zack is a fun pitcher to watch,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said, according to ESPN.com. “Location is such a big thing with him, and it was clear he was locked in. What you saw today is what we expect from a pitcher of his caliber.”

What made the performance even sweeter for Greinke is that he was able to keep Carlos Quentin – who was responsible for injuring Greinke back on April 11 after charging the mound and charging into Greinke’s shoulder – off the base paths entirely. Quentin went 0-3 and struck out twice at the hands of his nemesis.

Of course, the win is just as important for the Dodgers as a team as it is for Greinke personally. The Dodgers – currently 9.5 games back of first place in the NL West – know that they need to begin to turn their season around before they enter the All-Star break, especially since the Diamondbacks and Padres have seemed to hit their stride in the past few weeks.

“If tough when you don’t win and you’re stuck in last place and you’re not putting up runs with consistency,” Mattingly said. “When you go into that clubhouse and there’s no victory music playing too often, it wears on your confidence. A win like this is what we’re capable of when we put it all together. Hopefully it’ll help us gain some confidence as a club and help us get on a little run here.”

While the Dodgers hope their win sparks some positive momentum, they also hope San Diego’s loss puts the Padres into a tailspin. The Padres’ defeat snapped an eight-game home winning streak and dropped their season record against the Dodgers to 7-5.

Both clubs are still looking up at division leader Arizona, but as winners of seven of their last 10 games, the Padres still appear to be in much better shape and much more capable of making a run. Then again, with all the talent on L.A.’s roster, there’s always a chance things could come together later in the year when the club is more acclimated to its new personnel and vice versa.

“You hope this is the start of something special, a run that gets us back into the thick of things,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “Then again, we’ve thought that before and said that before and it hasn’t happened. We just need to go do it. It’s time for us to start playing better.”

It’s hard to say this win will be a turning point for the Dodgers, but be sure to keep an eye on them as they head into the break. I wouldn’t put any stock into them making the postseason, but don’t be surprised if they make some noise down the stretch.

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