Greinke finds vintage groove to down Yanks

May 18th, 2016

PHOENIX -- Zack Greinke got the better of Michael Pineda on Tuesday night at Chase Field and the result was a 5-3 victory for the D-backs over the Yankees, their second in as many nights.

The D-backs have outscored the Bombers, 17-5, in the first two games of a three-game series that ends here on Wednesday night.

Looking like the Greinke of old, the right-hander allowed three runs on just five hits, including a second-inning homer by Starlin Castro that gave the Yankees a short-lived, 1-0 lead. He struck out seven and walked none, exiting in the eighth inning with a 5-1 lead after allowing lead-off singles to Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks. Both runners came around to score. Greinke's now 4-3 with a 5.08 ERA.

"He threw the ball well," D-backs manager Chip Hale said about Greinke. "He used his changeup and kept it down. It was a knockout pitch for him. He was able to get ahead with the fastball. When he knew guys were swinging he used his changeup early in the count. Slider, curveball. Probably the only thing he didn't do well tonight was hit."

Pineda struck out nine but struggled to contain the D-backs as they scored a pair of runs in both the third and fifth innings. In the fifth, Pineda walked Paul Goldschmidt, and Jake Lamb followed with a two-run homer into the right-field seats. Pineda allowed nine hits and walked one.

"Of course, I know I'm better than that," Pineda said. "Right now, I'm having a really bad moment. I'm struggling in the game. I need to keep working hard and be better."


Two-out magic: There were two outs and nobody on in the second when the D-backs jumped on Pineda. Chris Owings tripled into the left-field corner and scored on Nick Ahmed's single. It was only the start of Arizona's offensive effort.

More frustration for Big Mike: Pineda has not lived up to the Yankees' expectations as the No. 2 starter, and he turned in another night of mixed results on Tuesday, offering some moments of promise wrapped in an all-too-familiar outcome. Though manager Joe Girardi said the club has not discussed the idea of removing Pineda from the rotation, he is now 0-5 with a 6.05 ERA in seven starts since winning his season debut on April 6. More >

"If you look at some of the numbers, the more he's ahead in the count, the worse off the numbers turn," Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. "It's kind of hard to figure out with the strikeouts and walks and everything. … We need to end this right now and get this straightened out."

Big third: The D-backs had four singles in the third frame, including RBI knocks by Goldschmidt and Welington Castillo. Goldschmidt has bounced back nicely in the series after going 1-for-14 in four losses to the Giants. Against the Yanks, he's hit a homer, a pair of singles, scored three times, driven in two, walked twice and stolen a base.

"Goldy contributing like that is really important to us," Hale said. "He's in that three hole and he knows that. And that's one thing he's been able to do. His on-base percentage [.398] is as good as anybody's. He's starting to feel it and he had some really good at-bats against Pineda. He was able to draw a walk, also. His at bats are getting better and better."

Trimming the deficit: The Yanks finally chased Greinke as Gregorius and Hicks opened the eighth with hits, prompting Carlos Beltran's entry as a pinch-hitter to face Daniel Hudson. Beltran drove home New York's second run with a groundout, and Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a run-scoring single through the left side of the infield. Hudson slammed the door as Gardner protested Fieldin Culbreth's called third strike and Mark Teixeira struck out swinging.

"I was obviously pretty mad," Gardner said. "It's a big point in the game, we're making a little bit of a comeback. We struggled to get guys on base all day and I'm trying to get on base. Frustrated with the umpire, frustrated with myself; obviously I haven't been swinging the bat well. I let my emotions maybe take over a little too much."


Greinke has allowed 32 runs already this season in nine starts. Last year with the Dodgers, he had allowed 11 runs after nine starts, and it took him 25 starts to give up 32 runs.


Yankees:Nathan Eovaldi (3-2, 4.85 ERA) takes the hill at 9:40 p.m. ET Wednesday for his eighth start of the year. He is 2-0 with a 3.08 ERA in seven career games (four starts) against Arizona, having limited the D-backs to five hits or fewer and two runs or less in all four starts.

D-backs: Arizona closes a three-game series against the Yankees and a seven-game homestand with a 6:40 p.m. PT start. Shelby Miller is slated to be on the Hill. Arizona heads off on a six-game trip to St. Louis and Pittsburgh after the finale.

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