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Dodgers, Greinke grind out win over Phils

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- For the past two seasons, Zack Greinke has been almost as reliable as the sun coming up.

Greinke struck out 11 and shortstop Hanley Ramirez broke out of a slump with a home run, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies before a crowd of 40,776 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night.

"He's a baller. That's all you can really say," Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp said of Greinke. "He's a gamer. He can strike guys out, get people out and he can hit. I think he's the whole package."

Greinke (4-0) pitched seven-plus innings and gave up two runs, five hits and a walk. He was dominating for much of the game, striking out the side in the fifth and fanning five in a row at one point. The 11 strikeouts were his best as a Dodger.

The right-hander has gone at least five innings and allowed two or fewer runs in 17 consecutive starts, dating to July 30, 2013, the longest stretch in the major leagues.

"The last three or maybe it's four years now, I've been lucky to have teams that have played really well behind me," said Greinke, who also went 1-for-2 with a walk at the plate. "That's kind of how it's been this year, too. Pitched well, but we've played so good that you should win the games that I've been out there so far."

Consistency is just one of Greinke's strengths, manager Don Mattingly said.

"It's pretty amazing," Mattingly said of Greinke's streak. "Vin (Scully) says it every time he pitches, right? It is pretty amazing you're facing big-league hitters and there are nights you don't have your stuff, and I think that's where Zack kind of separates himself from a lot of (pitchers).

The times he doesn't have really good stuff he finds a way to compete with different pitches and do what he has to do to get people out. I think he's unique in that way."

Reliever J.P. Howell pitched a scoreless eighth before closer Kenley Jansen shut the door with his eighth save.

Yasiel Puig, who went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, including the tiebreaker in the fifth inning, also helped the Dodgers (13-9) end a two-game skid and snap Philadelphia's three-game winning streak. The Phillies (10-11) fell below .500 again.

Ramirez, whose 2-for-4 outing came after he was mired in a 2-for-20 funk entering the game, drove a 3-1 pitch an estimated 419 feet into the seats in right-center field off reliever Mario Hollands to open the eighth. It was Ramirez's third home run of the season. The Dodgers tacked on two more runs with RBI singles from Juan Uribe and Justin Turner.

Phillies pinch-hitter Jayson Nix cut the Dodgers' lead to 3-2 with a solo homer off Greinke to lead off the eighth before Los Angeles answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

Phillies starter Cole Hamels (0-1) made his season debut, allowing two runs and six hits with five strikeouts and a walk in six innings. Hamels, who threw 86 pitches (55 strikes), started the season on the 15-day disabled list with a left biceps tendinitis.

"I thought he pitched very well and gave us a chance to win," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He showed real good stuff. Eighty-six pitches and two runs. He did a nice job."

Third baseman Juan Uribe's sacrifice fly to right scored Kemp, who doubled to lead off the inning, and gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead with one out in the second.

The Phillies tied the score on first baseman Ryan Howard's single to left in the fourth. He drove in shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who had doubled.

NOTES: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw will make a rehab start on Friday at Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Kershaw, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since March 23 with a strained upper back, could make a second minor league start before returning to the Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly said. ... Phillies RHP B.J. Rosenberg was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the game to make room for LHP Cole Hamels. ... Philadelphia 2B Chase Utley returned to the lineup after getting the night off Tuesday. ... Mattingly rested starting 1B Adrian Gonzalez, INF Dee Gordon, LF Carl Crawford and C Tim Federowicz. Gonzalez, though, pinch hit in the eighth, flying out to center. ... Jordan Farmar and Nick Young of the Los Angeles Lakers threw out ceremonial first pitches. Lakers forward Pau Gasol also attended the game.

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