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Zack Greinke’s no-hit bid ends in 8th during D-backs’ win over Pirates

Arizona Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke went seven innings without allowing a hit before the Pirates’ Gregory Polanco smacked a solo home run to right field Thursday at Chase Field.

Polanco looped a low fastball just foul of the right field foul poll on the second pitch of the eighth, but on the fifth offering, he caught a slider and snuck it inside the same marker to pull Pittsburgh within 2-1.

“Made a decent pitch to Polanco but probably too many inside pitches; he was obviously on the inside part of the plate that last at-bat,” Greinke said.

The score would hold giving Greinke the victory, his fourth in eight starts this season.

Greinke had only allowed one baserunner to that point, walking shortstop Jordy Mercer to lead off the third inning.

The seven hitless innings was a career-best for the 33-year-old, who had only gone a full five innings without a hit once in 2004 as a member of the Kansas City Royals.

Greinke wrapped his evening after eight innings with 11 strikeouts, one walk and the one earned run off the one home run hit.

In the first inning, the possibility of a no-hitter was nearly squashed. Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen lined a sharp hit to right field, but D-backs outfielder David Peralta made the sliding grab to get Greinke cleanly out of the first frame.

By the sixth, the right-hander had thrown 75 pitches and struck out 10 batters with only the walk marring his box score. Through seven, he’d thrown 90 balls and had 11 strikeouts. He finished with 107 pitches, 72 for strikes, on the night.

Greinke’s slider, as it’s been of late, was confounding the Pirates.

“His slider’s been very good with late action in the zone,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo told media after the game. “It wasn’t just the slider, it was fastball command some of the secondary pitches. It was a complete outing for him.”

And with the strikeout count, the Diamondbacks set an MLB record for the most consecutive home games (10) with 10 or more strikeouts. It was Greinke’s 26th career outing of double-digit strikeouts and the second this season.

“First three I was a little amped up and kind of settled in a little bit after that,” he said. “Slider was a really good. Most pitches were pretty good.”

There are only two no-hitters in Arizona Diamondbacks history. Greinke would have joined Edwin Jackson (June 25, 2010) and Randy Johnson (May 19, 2004) as the only D-backs to pitch a no-hitter — neither of the previous came at Chase Field.

Jose Jimenez of the Cardinals threw the only no-hitter in the ballpark on June 25, 1999.

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