PHILADELPHIA -- Even after Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera hit a solo homer in the first inning, the D-backs knew they were in good shape with ace Zack Greinke on the mound.Their confidence was not misplaced, as the homer would be the only run Greinke would allow over eight innings
PHILADELPHIA -- Even after Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera hit a solo homer in the first inning, the D-backs knew they were in good shape with ace Zack Greinke on the mound.
Their confidence was not misplaced, as the homer would be the only run Greinke would allow over eight innings as the D-backs beat the Phillies, 4-1.
"He's been great these last seven in a row," D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb said of Greinke. "It was nice to get a few runs for him, and based on the way he's been pitching and keeping guys off balance, that's all he really needed."
After a sluggish start to the season, Greinke has been on a roll, winning his last seven starts while compiling a 1.90 ERA during that stretch.
"I feel like I've been throwing more quality strikes," Greinke said of the streak. "Instead of just throwing strikes, it's been where I want it to be, kind of. That's the biggest difference. Starting with the Yankees' game, I think, was the first where I felt like I was making pitches where it was tough for the hitters to lay off, but also tough to hit at the same time."
After the Herrera homer, Greinke retired 16 of the next 17 hitters with the lone exception being a walk to Carlos Ruiz in the second.
The Phillies' lone threat against him came in the seventh when they had runners on second and third with one out and Maikel Franco at the plate, but Greinke struck him out and then got Ruiz to fly out to deep center to end the inning.
After a 1-2-3 eighth inning and sitting at 94 pitches, Greinke was lifted in favor of closer Brad Ziegler in the ninth.
At [119 pitches] last time against the Dodgers, we did want to limit it today," D-backs manager Hale said of the decision to remove Greinke. "That's why we went to Ziggy in the ninth. Probably most other days you could see him go into the ninth, but we wanted to cut it off there and give him a little shorter outing. He did a great job with his pitch count, he attacked and they had to swing the bats early."
It was the 42nd consecutive save that Ziegler has converted, dating back to last year.
"I felt pretty good, just didn't want to push it too much after the last start," Greinke said. "And we've got one of the better closers in the game out there. I felt pretty confident either way."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.