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Greinke gets 12th win as Dodgers beat Marlins

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Zack Greinke became the Los Angeles Dodgers' third 12-game winner this season, joining Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

But to hear Greinke tell it, there really isn't much competition.

"Kersh is on another level," Greinke said. "If you try to keep up with him, you are going to get your feelings hurt."

Greinke, who won the AL Cy Young award in 2009, was being overly modest, especially after he pitched another gem Wednesday night, beating the Miami Marlins 4-1 at Marlins Park.

On a night when NBA superstar LeBron James was in attendance and Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig was quiet -- he is 1-for-12 in the series so far -- Greinke stole the headlines.

Greinke (12-3) pitched eight innings, allowing one run on six hits and no walks while striking out seven. His only mistake was a first-inning home run ball to Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

"They hit him a bit early," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Greinke, who has a 2.91 ERA. "But you could see him make a quick adjustment, using a lot more curve balls. He slowed them down, and it was kind of cool to see him changing speeds."

Besides Stanton, no other Marlins base-runner got past second base, and Greinke struck out all three batters he faced in the fifth, although it came against the Marlins' Nos. 8-9-1 hitters in the batting order.

The Dodgers won for the second night in a row, taking a 2-1 advantage into Thursday's series finale.

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth and picked up his 21st save of the season, his 14th in a row. The final out came on a standout grab in center field by Andre Ethier, who caught Adeiny Hechavarria's blast while crashing into the wall.

Mattingly said he thought center field would be a "mess" this year because of Matt Kemp's various injuries.

"He's been solid," Mattingly said of Ethier. "With Matt being down, we didn't know where we were going to go in center. But Andres has kind of taken center over."

Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi (2-4), who allowed career highs in hits (12) and runs (11) in his previous start Friday against the Giants, was much better Wednesday, even though he took the loss. He went seven innings, allowing six hits, two walks and three runs (two earned).

"He's going to be a monster," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of Eovaldi. "He has so much upside. He's going to be a dominant pitcher in this league for many years."

The Marlins scored a first-inning run for the second straight night. This time, it came on Stanton's 16th homer of the season, a 413-foot blast to left.

The Dodgers struck back for three runs in the fourth, a rally aided by two Marlins miscues.

Third baseman Ed Lucas' throwing error started the inning, and after a walk, Hanley Ramirez stroked a run-scoring double to left-center. Ethier's single made it 2-1, and Ramirez scored on a throwing error by Eovaldi, who tried a pick-off play at first.

"We've got to pick it up defensively," Redmond said.

The Dodgers added an insurance run in the eighth. Hanley Ramirez singled off Ryan Webb, stole second, advanced to third on A.J. Ellis' sacrifice bunt and scored on Jerry Hairston's sacrifice fly.

NOTES: James sat in the first row behind home plate. When his face was shown on the stadium's big screen, the fans erupted for the largest roar of the night at Marlins Park. ... Redmond said he greeted James before the game. And when the fans chanted "MVP" in honor of James, Redmond said he glanced over at Puig. "I think Puig thought (those chants) were for him," Redmond said. "I thought that was pretty funny." ... Miami rookie All-Star RHP Jose Fernandez has pitched a team-high 145 2/3 innings. The Marlins plan to shut him down for the year at around 170 innings. That means he has about four starts left. The Marlins don't plan on using him out of the bullpen or going to a six-man rotation, either of which would keep him pitching deeper into September. However, they have not ruled out skipping him for a start. ... Puig got to the park early Wednesday, one day after arriving 30 minutes late. Mattingly said he already had made out Tuesday's lineup card -- without a slumping Puig in it -- before the young star showed up tardy. Puig wound up coming off the bench Tuesday and hitting a homer.
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