Greinke tosses masterpiece, blanks Rockies
LOS ANGELES -- In the midst of a 16-5 streak that has propelled them back up the National League West standings, the Los Angeles have found different ways to win.
They've outslugged and outrun, outpitched and outplayed.
But after Zack Greinke outdueled Colorado's Tyler Chatwood on Saturday afternoon, the Dodgers felt a different kind of buzz.
Even if Don Mattingly won't admit it.
"A win is a win is a win; when you get them the music goes on," Mattingly said after Greinke's complete-game two-hitter lifted Los Angeles to a 1-0 win over the Rockies at Dodger Stadium. "When that music goes on a lot, the confidence grows. (But today) you find out you don't have to score a bunch to win. Teams who score and score and score, over time, it wears you out. You can't keep scoring like that. A win like this tells you don't always have to."
Greinke won his fifth straight start in dominating fashion, weaving the ball inside and out of the strike zone to baffle a talented Colorado lineup. He moved to 8-2 after allowing two hits and one walk while striking out nine.
Greinke painted the corner for a called third strike against D.J. LeMahieu for the final out of the game on just his 110th pitch, 80 of which were strikes, in his first complete-game shutout since 2009.
Stuck in a pitcher's duel and staked just one run, Greinke didn't have much time to sit back and relax.
"I didn't think about it a whole lot. I knew one run could tie us," Greinke said. "You don't think about the other pitcher when you're pitching. I just didn't want to let anyone on base. That was the goal, like every game."
The win was the Dodgers' 17th in 21 games and spoiled a fine performance by Chatwood.
Chatwood allowed just four hits and one run in eight innings, striking out four as he lowered his season ERA to 2.56. Like Greinke, Chatwood was efficient, needing 98 pitches, 64 of which were strikes.
"He battled as tough as you can," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "I gave him Adrian Gonzalez (in the eighth). I had (Rex) Brothers ready. But Chatwood, he was so tough today, I wanted to give him a shot at Gonzalez."
The Dodgers did not need anything late, though, after they took control early.
Los Angeles capitalized on a misplayed single to center field in the first inning by Skip Schumaker that got past the diving Dexter Fowler. Hanley Ramirez brought Schumaker home three batters later with an RBI groundout.
With Yasiel Puig out of the lineup. plagued by lingering soreness in his hip, and Carl Crawford also sidelined with back soreness for the second straight game, the Dodgers' cobbled-together lineup found little rhythm the rest of the way.
But with Greinke at his peak, they didn't need much.
Greinke silenced the first 13 Rockies batters before Todd Helton made a little noise with a single in the fifth. Greinke threw 49 of his first 66 pitches for strikes while allowing just two hits in his first six innings with six strikeouts and no walks.
"He'd go mostly away but he took shots in and he got strikes in," Weiss said. "He threw his fastball both sides of the plate. He didn't miss away. His slider starts away and runs off the plate. It was very effective. He was locked in."
That was enough to stave off Colorado as Chatwood nearly matched Greinke's success a day after Juan Nicasio quieted the Dodgers after they tallied 55 hits in their first four games this week.
Chatwood allowed just three hits in the first six innings, as Colorado nearly shut down the Dodgers for the second straight day.
"Our pitching has been carrying us through this run," Schumaker said. "But to get a win like this, with most of our big bats out? That's really huge for us."
NOTES: Puig has experienced hip soreness since running into the outfield fence attempting to make a catch on July 3. Puig has been pulled for replacements in each of the last two games because of the lingering soreness. Schumaker started in right field in his place. ... Dodgers LF Carl Crawford (back) missed his second straight game; Jerry Hairston Jr. took his place in the lineup. Crawford had an MRI on Saturday, but it revealed little. ... Greinke is contributing at the plate, as well, with five hits, a sacrifice bunt and a walk in his last eight plate appearances. He also stole a base on Saturday, the first Dodgers pitcher with a steal since 2011. ... Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki had a scheduled day off after returning from the disabled list.