Dodgers relievers finish Zack Greinke's strong start in win over Reds

Dodgers relievers finish Zack Greinke's strong start in win over Reds
Dodgers reliever Chris Hatcher delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Reds on Thursday afternoon in Cincinnati. (Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

Kenley Jansen was unavailable to pitch Thursday. So were Juan Nicasio and J.P. Howell.

Learning that made Zack Greinke smile as he reflected on the Dodgers' 1-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.


"I didn't know that many people were not available," Greinke said. "It's a good thing I didn't have a bad outing today."

The bullpen shortage not only made Greinke's outstanding start necessary — he limited the Reds to four hits and two walks over seven innings — it also pushed Chris Hatcher and Jim Johnson into more prominent roles.

An off-season addition who had a 6.38 earned-run average when he landed on the disabled list in mid-June, Hatcher pitched a scoreless eighth inning to preserve a one-run lead.

Johnson, who had a 20.25 ERA since his acquisition from the Atlanta Braves last month, earned his first save for the Dodgers by pitching a perfect ninth inning.

"It's been tough," Johnson said. "Just trying to contribute in a meaningful way and I haven't [contributed] like I've wanted to. I felt like that affected some of the games we played. I figured some of those games that we lost was, not directly, but indirectly, because I wasn't doing my job."

Hatcher said he returned from the 60-day disabled list earlier this month with a new mind-set.

"I'd give up a cheap hit or something and not be able to move on from it," Hatcher said. "Now, if I give up a hit, I give up a hit, move on to the next guy."

Cy Young worthy?

For Greinke, it was his 10th start of the season in which he pitched at least six innings and didn't give up a run. That's tied for second-most in the Dodgers history behind Sandy Koufax, who made 12 such starts in 1963.

Greinke has given up one or fewer runs in 18 of his 26 starts.

About the only time Greinke encountered serious trouble Thursday was in the fifth inning, when the Reds had runners on the corners with one out. Greinke struck out pitcher Anthony DeSclafani on a fouled bunt to record the second out and finished the inning by striking out former Dodgers utility man Skip Schumaker.

Old school

Chase Utley reached base three times, twice when hit by pitches.

In the five games he has played with the Dodgers, Utley has impressed his teammates with his professionalism.


"That's his reputation," Clayton Kershaw said. "Doesn't take anything for granted. The old cliche, plays the game the right way, but he really does. Sprints every ground-ball out. Runs the bases really well. Makes the plays defensively. Backs up. I mean, everything."


The Dodgers released third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who was designated for assignment when they acquired Utley last week. The team was 17-9 when Callaspo started at third base. … Catcher Yasmani Grandal returned to the starting lineup and grounded into three double plays. … Joc Pederson started in center field and was 0 for 3 with a walk.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez