There are strange games when balls take funny bounces or there’s some bizarre defensive play, but Thursday’s 10-8
And still he won. Aided by a solo homer hit by ... Zack Greinke. Which was one of his three hits.
On a day for head shaking, the Dodgers pounded out 15 hits to take the third game against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park and the series two games to one.
Greinke has spoiled the Dodgers this season with his remarkable consistency. He had allowed more than two runs in a game in just three of his 21 previous starts. He was coming off his recent 45 2/3 scoreless innings streak. He entered the game with a baseball-best 1.41 ERA.
So you can understand why some must have wondered if an impostor had taken the mound for the Dodgers in the bottom of the first. By then, the Dodgers had already taken a 3-0 lead on a run-scoring double by Andre Ethier and two-RBI single by Carl Crawford.
The strangeness began when
A single, a walk, a two-run double by
The Dodgers regained the lead against struggling David Buchanan in the second inning after Greinke led off with a single and
Maybe a frustrated Greinke the pitcher translates into Greinke the hitter. With two outs he homered off Buchanan.
It was a needed run, since in the bottom of the inning the Phillies scored again. Maikel Franco singled, took second on a Greinke wild pitch and scored on a Brown basehit to pull Philadelphia back within 7-6.
If Greinke (11-2) was pitching with less than his best command, he allowed just one other hit in his final 3 2/3 innings. His final line: six innings, six runs, seven hits, two walks and eight strikeouts. His ERA rose to a still dazzling 1.71.
The Dodgers added three needed insurance runs in the top of the sixth. A Greinke single and Jimmy Rollins double preceded a two-run RBI double by Kendrick and a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Yasmani Grandal. Greinke scored three times.
Every Dodgers starter had at least one hit, including Joc Pederson, who snapped an 0-for-23 streak with a seventh-inning single.
Not quite so strange Thursday was the performance of the Dodgers' bullpen. After J.P. Howell and Juan Nicasio combined for two scoreless innings, Manager Don Mattingly sent struggling Joel Peralta out to start the ninth with a 10-6 lead.
Peralta gave up a one-out single to Hernandez and an infield hit to Odubel Herrera. Peralta was spiked covering first on the Herrera hit and left the game in the hands of
Howard singled him to third, but then Gonzalez saved Jansen, and maybe the game, with alert defensive play. Holding Howard at first, Gonzalez snared a Brown line drive that was just foul, and then stepped on the bag at first to double up Howard and end the game.