LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers expected big things out of Zack Greinke when they signed him to the largest-ever contract for a right-handed pitcher in the offseason.
Perhaps not this big.
Greinke struck out nine and smacked an RBI single to raise his average to .340 as he held down the reeling Chicago Cubs in a 6-2 win Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers moved to 18-4 this season with Greinke on the mound. They righted the ship following an 8-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday that completed Los Angeles' first series loss since mid-June.
Benefitting from Chicago's wildness on the mound -- Cubs pitchers issued six walks, all to the Dodgers' last four batters -- Los Angeles picked up some timely hitting and rode Greinke to its fifth win in 15 second-half home games.
Greinke (13-3) allowed five hits and two runs -- both on a two-out double in the ninth inning by Brian Bogusevic that prompted Dodgers manager Don Mattingly to call on Brian Wilson for the last out. Greinke threw 122 pitches en route to his sixth consecutive win. The former Cy Young Award winner moved to 10-1 in his past 13 starts.
Wilson struck out Donnie Murphy to complete the win.
By the time Hanley Ramirez drilled his 14th home run of the year off Carlos Villanueva in the seventh inning, the Dodgers were firmly in control at 5-0. When Yasiel Puig hammered his 13th homer of the year in the following inning, his third hit of the night, there was little doubt.
Quiet the previous three games against the Red Sox's brilliant starting pitching, Los Angeles burst out for four runs in the middle innings Monday to seize control.
That was enough to chase Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, who has stumbled in consecutive starts. Five days after allowing six runs on five hits and four walks in four innings against the Washington Nationals, Arrieta (1-1) allowed four runs on six hits and five walks in five innings Monday.
One of the Dodgers' clutch hitters? Greinke. The hot-hitting pitcher stroked an RBI single to open scoring in the fourth inning, and Carl Crawford followed with a ground-rule double, driving in Nick Punto.
Los Angeles added two runs in the sixth inning, on a Punto RBI double and a Crawford sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Chicago RHP Jeff Samardzija shared NL Pitcher of the Week honors for last week with Miami RHP Jose Fernandez after finishing with a 2-0 record and just three runs allowed over 17 innings. He is Chicago's first NL Pitcher of the Week since Ryan Dempster last June and just the third in 10 years (Carlos Zambrano, 2009). ... Cubs OF Nate Schierholtz played Monday despite hurting his back and then getting hit in the helmet with an errant throw on the same at-bat Sunday at San Diego. ... In addition to his impressive batting average, Greinke has taken six walks this season, the most for a Dodgers pitcher since Bob Welch had seven in 1987.