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Greinke eases into first spring start

D-backs ace allows a run on three hits in 1 2/3 vs. Brewers
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In his first outing of the spring Sunday, D-backs ace Zack Greinke focused on keeping things simple.

The right-hander allowed three hits and one run over 1 2/3 innings in Arizona's 5-1 loss to the Brewers at Salt River Fields.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In his first outing of the spring Sunday, D-backs ace Zack Greinke focused on keeping things simple.

The right-hander allowed three hits and one run over 1 2/3 innings in Arizona's 5-1 loss to the Brewers at Salt River Fields.

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"I had some guys on base and I didn't try holding runners," Greinke said when asked what he meant by keeping things simple. "I just didn't think it was that important right now. I'll let that happen later in spring. I was focusing on making decent pitches. It went all right. It definitely wasn't perfect, but it was OK."

Greinke threw 25 pitches, 19 of which went for strikes.

"A lot of strikes," he said. "There weren't many quality strikes, but there were a lot of strikes. I don't know if I know how I'd say the command was."

Last spring, Greinke took his time getting ready for Opening Day. Spring Training was a week longer in 2017 to accommodate the World Baseball Classic, so he paced himself differently.

Even though he turned in a good season, going 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA, Greinke said he felt a little rushed toward the end of camp, so this year he is focused on being ready quicker.

"My stuff is further along, but my command is further away," Greinke said in comparing last spring to this. "That's what I'm thinking at the moment. I was happy with how today went, so I guess that's the most important thing. I can fine-tune some of those things from now on. Just where I'm at right now, it should be fixable and I should be able to make some adjustments in the coming starts. The next start is probably going to be bad, also. But hopefully there will be a couple of games before the season is ready and things should go good."

Greinke's fastball hit 91 mph Sunday, whereas last spring it took him a couple of starts to get up to that mark.

Greinke threw his fastball, slider and changeup but not his curve. It wasn't that he was trying to avoid it; it just didn't end up getting used.

"I think it's a typical first outing for him," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "The fastball command is something that I think he works on first, and he works on velocity off of that, and then some secondary stuff. Zack has a tremendous method to what he's trying to do. It's a process for him. We wanted to get him right around that pitch count. We wanted two complete innings out of him. Unfortunately he was a little short, but I thought it was a really solid outing. He did exactly what we wanted him to do."

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

Arizona Diamondbacks, Zack Greinke