LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zack Greinke became the third NL pitcher to reach double digits in victories, and the Los Angeles Dodgers had four RBI doubles during a six-run second inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-1 on Saturday.
Greinke (10-4) allowed a run and four hits over seven innings, struck out 10 and did not walk a batter as the Dodgers won for the 11th time in 15 games. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is 13-2 with a 1.98 ERA in 19 starts following a Dodgers loss since signing a $147 million, six-year contract in December 2012.
Greinke became the first Dodgers pitcher to reach double digits in wins before the All-Star break since 2007, when Brad Penny started out 10-1 and finished 16-4.
Lance Lynn (8-6) lasted just two innings and was charged with seven runs, nine hits and two wild pitches. The right-hander is 2-4 with a 3.90 ERA in six starts since pitching his first professional shutout May 27 and beating the Mets 6-0 with a career-high 126 pitches.
Matt Carpenter’s third-inning homer accounted for St. Louis’ run. The defending NL champions tried to get back in the game in the fifth, but Greinke struck out Carpenter with runners at second and third.
Los Angeles got an unearned run in the first after back-to-back infield hits by Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez, who returned to the lineup after missing four games with a sore right shoulder. Puig went to third on a fielder’s choice grounder by Adrian Gonzalez and continued home when shortstop Daniel Descalso dropped the ball on the exchange from his glove to his right hand.
The Dodgers, who didn’t get an extra-base hit in either of the first two games in this series, broke the game open during Lynn’s 45-pitch second inning with RBI doubles by Justin Turner, A.J. Ellis, Dee Gordon and Andre Ethier. Gonzalez and Matt Kemp added two-out RBI singles.
The defending NL West champs sent 11 batters to the plate during their most productive inning of the season – including Miguel Rojas, who came in as a pinch runner after Turner strained his left hamstring running out his double.
During the rally, one of Lynn’s pitches missed Greinke’s head by inches after he squared to bunt. Gordon tried to score from second on a wild pitch to Ramirez, as Yadier Molina jogged back to the screen to retrieve it. But the six-time Gold Glove winner got the ball to Lynn in time for the tag on Gordon.
NOTES: Rojas replaced Ramirez at SS in the third inning and Juan Uribe took over at 3B for Turner. Uribe drove in the Dodgers’ final two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth against Eric Fornataro. … Cardinals manager Mike Matheny’s starting lineup had four left-handed batters against Greinke – Carpenter, Descalso, Matt Adams and Jon Jay. Each of them had a hit against him, while the righties were 0 for 16. … Greinke has made 121 starts, pitched 765 1-3 innings and faced 3,141 batters since committing his last error on July 16, 2010, while pitching for Kansas City against Oakland. The 11-year veteran has never won a Gold Glove. … Lynn got a victory in relief against the Dodgers in the opening game of last year’s NL championship series and won Game 4 in a starting role. … The Dodgers have played nine consecutive errorless games, their longest streak since a nine-game stretch from June 9-18, 2004. … The Dodgers have hit only two homers over their last 10 games and five in their last 13, all of them solo shots.