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Greinke Wins No. 11 Dodgers Lead NL West

July has arrived and the second half of the Major League Baseball season has begun. The Los Angeles Dodgers are back on top of the NL West thanks to their phenomenal starting rotation on the mound.

On Thursday, the Dodgers defeated the Colorado Rockies in the first game of a four-game series in Mile High City.

Zack Greinke pitched superbly for the Dodgers on Thursday. However, heading into the top of the ninth the score was tied at 2-2 and the Dodgers dugout was calling for a run to break the tie to give Greinke the win.

Juan Uribe delivered the hit that knocked in Matt Kemp and the Dodgers won giving Greinke 11 wins on the season, tied for the lead in the National League.

This was a must win for Greinke and his teammates did not let him down. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez told reporters after the game that if you can come into Coors Field and hold the Rockies to 2 runs you deserve to win.

Greinke has been the model of consistency for Los Angeles the first half of the season. He has allowed three runs or more in only 3 of his 18 starts this season. However, he needed this win more than most.

Even with Clayton Kershaw the team’s ace in the rotation, Los Angeles will need Greinke to pitch strongly during the second half of this season if the Dodgers hope to hold off a strong San Francisco Giants ballclub.

On Thursday, that is just what Greinke did. Following a performance where he gave up just one run on June 28 versus the St. Louis Cardinals, Greinke looked sharp once again against Colorado.

Greinke allowed an RBI triple by Justin Morneau in the eighth to tie the score. However, even after allowing the run, the team stayed focused during the top of the ninth when Uribe knocked in the winning run.

The team could have been receiving their positive vibes from Greinke who has pitched much more poised and confident over his past two starts, contrary to what he did for much of June.

Greinke did not pitch poorly in June allowing just 16 earned runs, but when you consider he allowed just 16 earned runs between April and May you realize June’s Greinke was not the same.

In addition, he was not the Greinke that Los Angeles needs and will need through the summer and down the stretch run toward the postseason.

Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said he now believes Greinke is back to where he was during April and May. Mattingly said Greinke had a few starts in June where he did not look as sharp as he did early in the season.

This is the first time since 2009, when Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award that the right-hander has had 10 wins or more prior to the All-Star break.

He will have an opportunity to win number 12 prior to the All-Star classic when the Dodgers play the Detroit Tigers Wednesday.

Los Angeles does not have the best hitters in the league and that is why their starting rotation’s success is so important.

Tonight Kershaw looks for win No. 10 against the Rockies.

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