Greinke sees end of 11-game unbeaten streak
Dodgers righty serves up two homers for first time in almost exactly one year
HOUSTON -- For the second consecutive night, the Astros accomplished quite the feat against the Dodgers.
This was no no-hitter, of course, but beating Zack Greinke this season has actually been more rare than no-hitters in baseball this year.
Houston snapped the drought on behalf of the rest of baseball, handing Greinke (13-3) a loss for the first time since June 13 in San Diego, a span of eight decisions.
The 3-1 defeat, in which the righty allowed three runs on three hits over seven innings -- including a pair of solo homers -- snapped an 11-game unbeaten stretch and ballooned his ERA all the way up to -- 1.67, still the best in the Major Leagues.
That's how good Greinke's been in 2015, but he was left ruing just a couple of pitches on a night when the Dodgers more than doubled up the Astros' hit total -- and a night after L.A. was no-hit by the Astros' Mike Fiers.
"I had some good pitches, just not quite good enough today," Greinke said. "Every game, you're not going to get five runs [on offense]."
In particular, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was the hurler's kryptonite, and he proved it right out of the gate.
Altuve smashed a leadoff triple and scored in the first and provided a crucial insurance run with a sixth-inning solo homer. Even when Greinke tried to turn the tables on Altuve's aggressiveness, it backfired.
"He doesn't strike out much," said Greinke, who also served up a long ball to Luis Valbuena in the second. "He hit a bunch of fastballs today, and that was my plan to throw him coming in. Third at-bat on the homer, I was trying to get him to swing at something else. He didn't swing at the offspeed stuff I wanted him to, and then he hit a fastball.
"Just good swings and the wrong game plan for me."
Consider that combo a rarity when Greinke's on the mound this season. The Astros just put two out of the ballpark, a formula unlikely to be replicated any time soon.
After all, the multi-home run streak Houston snapped was even longer. Greinke hadn't allowed two home runs in a game since Aug. 23, 2014, nearly a year to the day of Saturday's loss.