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Return of Greinke could signal new start for Dodgers


Things have started to look up for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Of course, after losing 8 straight games where else could they look but up?

Los Angeles has won two straight, 4 of their past 5 and are just 5 ½ games back of the first place San Francisco Giants in the NL West.

The Dodgers received great news this week when Zack Greinke one of the team’s top pitchers was reactived ahead of schedule from his broken collarbone.

He started on Wednesday night and looked everything like the $147 million man in recording a 3-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Greinke not only threw well over the 5 1/3 innings he pitched, but he helped his own cause with an opposite field RBI single for the Dodgers second run.

The Dodgers now start six games on the road with their first three versus the Atlanta Braves and the last three against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The way the team has played of late, the 8-game losing streak looks to be a thing of the past.

The Dodgers pitching rotation could be one of the strongest in the NL with Greinke back healthy. Clayton Kershaw is 4-2 and has a league leading 1.42 ERA, while rookie South Korean Hyun-Jin Ryu is also 4-2. Those three could help the Dodgers win or even sweep many series going forward.

The bullpen worked their stuff in the Greinke win with Kenley Jansen holding his own, working out of a no out and first and third situation in the eighth. Brandon League threw three infield outs in the ninth to close the game, after Danny Espinosa had led off the ninth with a single.

On offense, the team has been helped by Matt Kemp’s hot bat. Kemp has hit in 14 straight games and had two hits while scoring two runs in the 3-1 win over Washington.

Questions are still lingering about Kemp’s power and manager Don Mattingly said those would continue until he starts knocking them out of the park. However, the manager is pleased with his bat speed and contact.

Injuries have bothered Kemp and he is gradually getting back to where he was just two years ago when he was considered by many to be one of the best, if the best in the game.

Carl Crawford the team’s new leadoff hitter has become one of the Dodgers’ catalysts. Crawford is hitting at a .311 clip, has five home runs and 10 RBIs. He also has stolen eight bases and scored 24 runs in 39 games.

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