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Greinke looks sharp in first outing of season

LOS ANGELES -- His Spring Training began with an elbow injection and ended with a camp game against Minor Leaguers to build up his pitch count after a rocky start against the Giants. So the high-quality, no-decision start Zack Greinke delivered Tuesday night for the Dodgers was at least one good takeaway from an otherwise disappointing 7-3 loss to the Padres.

"Zack was pretty good tonight," said manager Don Mattingly. "His stuff was sharp."

Catcher Yasmani Grandal said Greinke was executing his game plan, keeping hitters off-balance. He retired 12 consecutive batters at one point, the only baserunners over the last five innings of his six innings of work reaching on an error and walk.

"I had good command," Greinke said. "I located pretty well. I didn't throw many curves, but the other three pitches were pretty good and I mixed it up."

Greinke said he wanted to go deeper into the game, but misplays behind him during the first two innings ran up the pitch count. He threw 94 pitches and said he wasn't tired when removed.

Greinke also gushed over his new catcher. Mattingly, already tired of talk about A.J. Ellis being Clayton Kershaw's personal catcher, might soon field questions about the quick chemistry between Greinke and Grandal.

"He's been unbelievable back there," said Greinke. "As a catcher he's better than advertised. He's been as good as you could expect. His hands are great, he's blocked everything I've thrown. People stole on him last year, but he's had some really good throws in games I pitched this spring. His game-calling has been good. I couldn't draw up a better catcher at the moment."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
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