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Greinke's 9-K gem added to run of hard luck

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- After opening the season with a 5-0 record in his first six starts, Zack Greinke has continued to pitch among the best in the league, but the wins haven't followed.

After earning a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday night, Greinke is 0-1 in his last four outings despite allowing only four runs in that span.

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LOS ANGELES -- After opening the season with a 5-0 record in his first six starts, Zack Greinke has continued to pitch among the best in the league, but the wins haven't followed.

After earning a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday night, Greinke is 0-1 in his last four outings despite allowing only four runs in that span.

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"In the first six or eight games, we were getting 10 runs per game," Greinke said. "You can't spread [runs] out perfectly. I'm sure [the rut] won't last forever." 

Greinke worked through a bases-loaded jam in the first inning with no damage. The lone mistake Greinke made on the night was a 3-2 fastball to Cameron Maybin in the third. The Atlanta center fielder hit it out for his fifth home run of the year. Greinke then retired the final 11 batters he faced before being pulled after six innings.

"The first inning put him in kind of a spot," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He was at 30 [pitches] or close to it in the first, and then from there he really was rolling pretty good. Without that, he probably goes seven tonight."

Though the Dodgers already have the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner in Clayton Kershaw, Greinke has been the club's best starter this season. Greinke's ERA sat at 1.48 after Wednesday's performance, second in the NL behind A.J. Burnett.

Greinke has now earned a quality start in all 10 of his outings this season, and he has allowed one run or fewer in eight of 10 starts this season.

"Zack has been terrific for the past couple of years," Mattingly said. "Clayton has overshadowed a lot of things Zack's been able to do. This season, Zack's been really, really good. But he doesn't get the attention."

The wheels came off the wagon for the Dodgers in the eighth inning when reliever Chris Hatcher gave up a single and a walk on five pitches before being pulled in favor of Adam Liberatore.

Liberatore allowed both inherited runners to score via a wild pitch and an RBI ground-rule double.

Hatcher dropped to 1-4 on the season and has struggled in recent outings; in three of his last four appearances, he's failed to record outs. When asked how he's been pitching, Hatcher didn't mince words.

"Like crap," he said. "Every ball that's getting put into play is a hit, so obviously I'm not doing something right."

Hatcher leads the Dodgers with 22 appearances on the season, but his ERA has ballooned to 6.91. Mattingly recognizes there's a problem but hasn't lost faith in the 30-year-old righty.

"We know the stuff is there, and we know he's capable so we don't lose faith in him," Mattingly said. "But I know it's been kind of a little bit of a roller coaster."

Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Zack Greinke