PHOENIX -- Zack Greinke considers himself more of a baseball player than a pitcher, so he takes pride in his hitting and baserunning. In fact, he can even be found taking grounders at shortstop or third base on days he doesn’t pitch.
Greinke flashed his hitting skills once again in Monday night's 8-5 win over the Dodgers with a solo home run off left-hander Clayton Kershaw, his career-high third homer of the year.
“It was nice,” Greinke said. “It seems to be happening a lot more in baseball, so not as big of a shock as it used to be.”
Greinke and Kershaw were teammates with the Dodgers from 2013-15, and they had started against each other just once prior to Monday, on April 14, 2017.
Kershaw got the better of that one, allowing just one run over 8 1/3 innings while Greinke lasted five innings and allowed five runs. Greinke came to bat once in that game against Kershaw and struck out.
Aside from Greinke’s homer, Monday’s win over the National League West leaders featured several big moments for the D-backs:
Marte ties team record
After missing two games following a cramp in his left groin muscle on Friday night, Ketel Marte returned to the lineup and picked up where he left off, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
It was his seventh straight multi-hit game, tying the club mark set by Luis Gonzalez in 2001.
Marte was clearly not running at full speed, under orders to not risk aggravating the injury.
“I was just trying to play smart out there,” said Marte, a finalist at second base to start the All-Star Game. “I don’t want to be on the IL; I want to keep playing. I want to be in the lineup every day. I feel good, and tomorrow will be better.”
Walker continues to rake against Kershaw
After the D-backs fell behind, 3-0, in the first, Christian Walker tied the game with one swing in the bottom of the inning with a three-run homer to center off Kershaw.
The homer made Walker 3-for-6 in his career against the ace left-hander, with all of the hits being home runs. He would ground out and single later in the game when facing Kershaw.
“Baseball is funny,” Walker said. “Things come in bunches. For whatever reason, I see [his] slider well. I think two of [the homers] for sure, I think all three may be on that pitch.
“I was just looking for something good early. I knew he was going to try and get ahead. I didn’t want to hang around and wait around and see the slow curve or the heater that’s going to bust me in. So, I wanted to get out of there early, and luckily it was out over the plate and the pitch I was looking for.”
Milestone save for Holland
After reliever T.J. McFarland gave up a run in the ninth, Greg Holland came on to pick up his 11th save of the year by striking out Russell Martin.
It was the 200th save of Holland’s nine-year big league career. He is the 51st pitcher in history and the sixth active to reach that milestone.
“It’s a round number,” Holland said. “Other than that, I don’t really think about that stuff that much. At the end of the day, I want to win a World Series, and that’s the ultimate goal. So I think it’s something to look back at the end of a career and enjoy those personal accomplishments, but when you’re in the moment, it’s a team game and you’re enjoying the atmosphere and being part of a winning experience. I think that’s what makes it special.”