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Greinke dominates Bucs despite pair of delays

MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

PITTSBURGH -- An hour and a half worth of rain delays could not cool down the D-backs bats nor could it stop Zack Greinke from dominating on the mound as Arizona beat the Pirates, 7-2, on Saturday afternoon at PNC Park.

Greinke (7-5) allowed just two hits and did not walk a batter, while striking out seven over six shutout innings to win his second straight decision even as he sat through a pair of rain delays.

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PITTSBURGH -- An hour and a half worth of rain delays could not cool down the D-backs bats nor could it stop Zack Greinke from dominating on the mound as Arizona beat the Pirates, 7-2, on Saturday afternoon at PNC Park.

Greinke (7-5) allowed just two hits and did not walk a batter, while striking out seven over six shutout innings to win his second straight decision even as he sat through a pair of rain delays.

View Full Game Coverage

"It was the best location I can remember, at least since the very beginning of the year," Greinke said. "That was really the key. All four pitches were pretty decent, but the location was the key. That felt really good, being able to locate as good as it was today."

The D-backs scored a pair of runs in the first inning before the rain came in the bottom half of the frame, which caused a 25-minute stoppage.

When it resumed, the D-backs scored a pair of runs in the third and another in the fourth to go up 5-0, before there was a 56-minute delay in the bottom of the fourth.

Video: ARI@PIT: Owings plates Lamb with single off the wall

While it was clear Greinke would remain in the game after the first delay, it was less clear whether the D-backs would want to send him back out after a second one, especially one that lasted nearly an hour.

Manager Torey Lovullo huddled with his coaches in his office during the delay to discuss the situation and they decided to have Greinke play catch when the rain stopped to see how he felt.

"We were probably right around the limit that we were comfortable with," Lovullo said. "So, it's risky, it's very risky, but we trusted Zack would be able to go out there and execute. He kept us informed."

During the longer delay, Greinke stayed in the dugout for the most part and tried to keep loose. On two occasions, he went out in the rain to play catch with catcher Jeff Mathis.

"It probably helped, I don't know," Greinke said. "It ended up being not that big of a deal. It was really humid, so it was not too tough to stay sort of loose."

As his velocity has dipped over the years, Greinke has continually found ways to reinvent himself on the mound. Some days, it's his slider that he'll go to, other times his changeup. On Saturday, it was his eephus curveball, which registers 67-70 mph on the radar gun.

Greinke threw 12 of them, with four going for swinging strikes and two being taken for strikes.

"It's been working really good this year," Greinke said of the eephus. "I don't know how long it'll last for, but it's been working good. I didn't throw any harder curves, where I think the whole year, I've kind of done both. But my harder one gets hit, usually. So, I started throwing only slow ones."

That could change again next time out, as Greinke noted that Austin Meadows hit his final eephus curve of the day to the wall in center in the sixth.

"So it might have been running its course," Greinke said. "So maybe 12 times was too many."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Getting them off right: With two outs and a runner on first in the opening frame, D-backs outfielder David Peralta tripled down the line in right to score Paul Goldschmidt. Peralta also scored on the play when relay man Sean Rodriguez's throw to the plate sailed into the Pirates' dugout. That gave the D-backs a 2-0 lead heading into the first rain delay. Peralta also doubled home a run in the third.

Video: ARI@PIT: Peralta rips an RBI triple, scores on error

"The ball was somewhat wet," Rodriguez said. "My hand was probably more wet than anything, just from standing around. I tried to almost palmball it, but I didn't even get my fingers over the top and just pushed it. It just took off."

SOUND SMART
The D-backs have now played 538 consecutive games without a postponement. That's the longest active streak in Major League Baseball. The last time the D-backs had a game postponed was May 5, 2015, when they were rained out against the Rockies in Denver. The next longest streak belongs to the Marlins at 221.

HE SAID IT
"It could be just a team type thing because it worked really good against them last time and it worked good this time. If guys hit it, then I'll stop throwing it. That's how it's going to happen. Maybe that's why I'm always adjusting. When hitters adjust, then I had to adjust." -- Greinke, on using his eephus curve against the Pirates

UP NEXT
The D-backs go for the sweep of their four-game series with the Pirates on Sunday afternoon at 10:35 a.m. MST at PNC Park. Clay Buchholz will get the start for the D-backs and the right-hander has been excellent since being signed to a Minor League contract May 4 and called up to the big leagues a few weeks later. Of his six starts, five have been outstanding with the lone hiccup coming against the Pirates on June 12 at Chase Field when he allowed six runs (five earned) over four innings. The Pirates will send right-hander Trevor Williams to the hill.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Zack Greinke