Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke retired 18 of the first 19 Pirates… (Harry How / Getty Images )
And that’s why Zack Greinke owns a $147-million contact and you don’t.
Greinke made his Dodgers’ debut Friday, and made it memorable. He demonstrated what the Dodgers saw in him when they signed him to that record six-year deal.
He seemed in control every second on the mound Friday. Threw nothing but zeroes and retired 18 of the first 19 batters he faced.
His season opener held back by a sore elbow this spring, Greinke was dominant in the Dodgers’ 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 40,607.
Greinke gave up only two hits, both singles, in his 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
If not for a Garrett Jones drive that took a wicked bounce off the grass on second baseman Mark Ellis and was ruled a hit in the second inning, Greinke would have carried a perfect game into the seventh inning.
The night also marked the first hit and run batted in of the season for Matt Kemp, who doubled in a run in the sixth. That snapped his 0-for-12 skid to open the season. He stood on second base after the double looking relieved and happy, smiling broadly and pointing into the Dodgers dugout.
Adrian Gonzalez followed with his own double off left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to drive in Kemp and give him his first RBI of the season.
Still looking for their first hits are Luis Cruz (0 for 13) and Justin Sellers (0 for 9).
Andre Ethier gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the second with a solo home run. He is the only position player with a homer through the Dodgers’ opening four games, tying him with slugging Clayton Kershaw.
After the Jones single, Greinke retired 14 consecutive Pirates. When Andrew McCutchen lined a clean single up the middle with one out in the seventh, his debut was over after 92 effecient pitches.
Paco Rodriguez, Kenley Jansen and Brandon League completed the shutout, with League picking up his first save.
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