Originally Published: June 19, 2016 6 a.m.
PHILADELPHIA — Zack Greinke isn’t just throwing strikes — he’s throwing his pitches exactly where he wants them.
That’s meant a real tough time for the opposition.
Greinke won his seventh straight start, pitching three-hit ball for eight innings to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Saturday.
Greinke (10-3) continued to display why the Diamondbacks signed him to a six-year, $206.5 million deal in the offseason. After a slow start, the three-time All-Star and former Cy Young winner has a 1.90 ERA during his winning streak.
The key has been control.
“I feel like I’ve been throwing more quality strikes instead of just throwing strikes,” Greinke said. “It’s more where I want it to be. It’s tough for the hitters to lay off, but tough for them to hit at the same time.”
Greinke struck out six and walked one.
That’s a good word: dominant,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. “He understands his stuff and understands the team he’s pitching against.”
Greinke was lifted after 94 pitches, as Hale didn’t want to overextend his ace after Greinke threw 119 in his previous outing.
“I felt pretty good but just didn’t want to push it after the last start,” Greinke said. “And we have one of the better closers in the game.”
Brad Ziegler closed for his 14th save of the season and 42nd straight dating to May 2015.
Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb and Nick Ahmed hit home runs to back Greinke. Arizona has hit nine homers in two consecutive wins over Philadelphia.
Odubel Herrera homered for the Phillies, who have lost five in a row and 22 of 28.
“That was vintage Greinke,” Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin said. “He gave a clinic on pitching.”