Zack Greinke takes meaningful step in return to Dodgers

Zack Greinke threw 80 pitches during a 4 1/3 inning rehab start for Rancho Cucamonga in which he gave up eight runs -- three earned -- on six hits with four strikeouts Friday.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke threw 80 pitches, 54 for strikes, Friday night in his rehabilitation start with the Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes before he was pulled with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning in a California League game at Lake Elsinore.

He gave up eight runs but only three were earned. He also gave up six hits, had four strikeouts and allowed no walks in 4 1/3 innings.

Greinke had suffered a fractured collarbone in his left (non-throwing) shoulder April 11 in a tussle with San Diego’s Carlos Quentin, who charged the mound after being hit by a pitch.


Two days later Greinke had surgery on the shoulder.

An original timetable in which Greinke was expected to miss eight weeks has been shortened by about half. His next start could be for the Dodgers, Wednesday night against Washington.

“I felt pretty good,” Greinke said after his outing Friday. “It felt like a normal game.”

Greinke said he was mostly happy with the way his collarbone felt and that he was uncomfortable only in the first inning. “Maybe I wasn’t loose yet,” he said.

Greinke figures to be pitching somewhere Wednesday, which would be his next regular turn. He said he’ll wait to see how he feels Saturday morning.

Said Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly, “We just kind of wait to see how he comes out of this. We’ll see where he’s at, make a plan after this. . . . If the doctors say he can pitch, we’re going to let him pitch. We feel like his arm is going to be ready to pitch.”

Greinke was injured in his second regular-season start with the Dodgers after he had signed a $147-million deal during the off-season.

Wherever he pitches next, Greinke said, “I don’t expect to be in midseason form. I won’t be throwing no-hitters.”

In two starts for the Dodgers this season, Greinke is 1-0 with an earned-run average of 1.59.

Greinke said the only medical suggestions he has been given now are to “not dive and not run into people.” He actually did dive once Friday, fielding a bunt, a move Greinke said was instinctive.

Quentin was suspended for eight games for rushing the mound, and Greinke said he expected no ill will the next time he pitches against San Diego. “Not at all,” Greinke said.

The next time the Dodgers play the Padres will be June 3 at Dodger Stadium.

Times staff writer Dylan Hernandez contributed to this report.