MILWAUKEE -- With the D-backs' offense continuing to struggle, Zack Greinke had little margin for error. Certainly not three home runs worth.
Greinke, who once won 15 consecutive decisions at Miller Park while wearing the home team's colors, allowed four runs on three homers as the slumping D-backs lost for the 11th time in 12 games, dropping the series opener to Milwaukee, 4-2, on Monday night. With the Rockies' win over the Dodgers late Monday night, Arizona fell a half-game out of first place in the National League West, the first night the D-backs haven't had at least a share of the top spot all season.
Greinke allowed a two-run homer to Travis Shaw and solo homers by Domingo Santana and Lorenzo Cain. In his previous start, Greinke held the Brewers to one run on four hits in six innings, but did not get a decision in the D-backs' 2-1 victory at home, their lone win since May 8.
"They took really good at-bats last game against me and I got out of some jams," Greinke said. "This game, same thing, good at-bats, and when I made a mistake they hit it pretty good."
Arizona staked Greinke to a 1-0 lead in the first when Ketel Marte drew a bases-loaded walk, but the Brewers answered in the bottom half on Shaw's 11th homer. Santana put the Brewers up 3-1 with his third homer, a solo shot in the fourth. Jake Lamb, activated off the disabled list on Thursday, brought Arizona within 3-2 with his first homer of the season in the sixth.
"The Shaw one, a pretty decent pitch," Greinke said. "He just hit that pitch better than anyone else has over the last couple years and he did that last game, too. I've got to throw my best pitch, and he did a good job hitting it."
Shaw said facing the same pitcher twice in a short span sometimes helps the hitters.
"When you see a guy that close together, you kind of know what he's going to do," Shaw said. "At the same time, Greinke is a smart guy, so you're kind of guarded and wondering if he's going to go the opposite direction. Tonight, he was still trying to locate the changeup. I thought we were pretty disciplined on balls down in the zone, and luckily, a few of us got balls up."
Cain opened the bottom half with his sixth homer to make it 4-2, which proved to be too much for the D-backs' struggling offense, which has scored just 24 runs in the past 12 games.
"I felt like we came out ready to play," manager Torey Lovullo said. "We had the bases loaded and we pushed across one run. A big hit in that situation obviously could mean different things and have a different tempo to the game. It didn't happen."
Greinke entered 16-3 in his career at Miller Park, including 15-0 with a 2.50 ERA in 21 starts for the Brewers from May 9, 2011 to June 6, 2012. He had allowed just one home run in 56 career at-bats to hitters on the current Brewers active roster. The three homers were the most allowed in 29 career games at Miller Park, including 23 with Milwaukee.
<p.> "Zack threw the ball really, really good," Lovullo said. "He continues to throw the ball really well. I know that he made some mistakes out over the plate to some hitters that normally square up mistakes. The home runs that he gave up, I'm sure you can address with him, but I know that he'd probably want those pitches back. That's just part of being a starting pitcher." </p.>
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The D-backs capitalized on the early lack of control by Anderson, who was activated earlier Monday off the disabled list. David Peralta singled to open the game. After Chris Owings struck out, Lamb walked, Paul Goldschmidt was hit by a pitch, and Marte walked to force in a run. The opportunity evaporated when Jarrod Dyson struck out and Nick Ahmed flied to left.
"We had some good at-bats in the first and just didn't get that big hit," Ahmed said. "That's kind of how it's been going. It's going to turn around soon."
The D-backs were a season-high 13 games over .500 on May 8 when their 12-game slide began. It's their worst stretch since going 1-12 in June 2006.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
After allowing a run in the first, Anderson retired 11 straight before walking to Jeff Mathis to open the fifth. After Greinke fouled out to the catcher, Peralta bounced to third. Mathis was forced out at second and Peralta was ruled safe at first after appearing to barely beat the relay. The Brewers challenged, and the call at first was overturned for an inning-ending double play after a review estimated at 47 seconds.
Right-hander Matt Koch (2-2, 4.06 ERA) has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his six starts, but he was roughed up in his last outing against Milwaukee. He allowed a season-high eight runs on nine hits -- including four homers -- in an 8-2 loss to the Brewers on Wednesday. Veteran Jhoulys Chacin (3-1, 3.63 ERA) will start for the Milwaukee.