All things must come to an end, the good and the bad. Particularly, hopefully, the bad.
The Dodgers found the remedy to their first four-game losing streak of the season Tuesday through a nice little combo -- Zack Greinke once again putting up zeroes and Yasiel Puig back to driving the ball.
Greinke threw six scoreless innings and Puig drove in all five runs in the Dodgers' 5-0 victory over the Nationals before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 49,384.
The five RBIs tied a career high for Puig, who managed it once before in the second game of his career. He had driven in only four runs in his last 10 games, and three of those came in one game against the Phillies.
Since Greinke had his scoreless streak snapped at 45 2/3 innings, he had surrendered 10 earned runs in 21 innings. That would still make for a reasonable 4.29 ERA, but for someone who had fashioned a baseball-best 1.30 ERA in his previous 22 starts, it seemed way out of line.
The only thing Greinke (12-2) failed to do Tuesday was pitch deep into the game. He threw 109 pitches in his six innings, holding the Nationals scoreless on six hits and a walk. He struck out six.
That meant it was back to the bullpen, something of a dangerous adventure since the All-Star break. But Yimi Garcia, just called back up from triple-A before the game, gave the Dodgers two much-needed scoreless innings.
Then Luis Avilan pitched a perfect ninth, and, for one night, the beleaguered bullpen was just fine.
Washington right-hander Joe Ross matched Greinke through three innings, but then Andre Ethier led off the fourth with a drive to the warning track. When the ball bounced high off the center field wall and carmoed back over Michael Taylor's glove, Ethier rounded second base and headed for third.
He probably underestimated the rookie's arm. Taylor one-handed the ball and threw a bullet to third. Home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor, covering third on the play, called Ethier out. The Dodgers challenged the call -- arguing that third baseman Yunel Escobar's tag missed Ethier's leg -- and won. The Dodgers are now 10-19 on challenges this season.
Puig followed Ethier's triple with his ninth home run of the season, a bomb almost halfway up the left-center pavilion.
Puig and the Dodgers added to their lead in the fifth. After singles by Jimmy Rollins and Alberto Callaspo, and a two-out walk to Yasmani Grandal, Puig sent a sinking drive to right.
Clint Robinson, who played some first base with the Dodgers last season, was playing right field in place of Bryce Harper, who is out with a sore knee. Robinson made an awkward diving attempt at the drive and missed, the ball rolling to the corner as Puig steamed around the bases for a triple.