Zack Greinke wavered in the beginning of his fifth start for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he looked well on his way to a third straight quality start.
Even as Greinke recovered in the middle innings, he still stumbled twice more and ended the night with another poor outing at Chase Field.
After giving up two runs in the first inning, the 32-year-old retired eight straight batters from the second to fourth inning on only 23 pitches.
The D-backs tied the game up during the streak, scoring in the second and fourth innings.
Greinke’s great form, however, was ended by a leadoff single in the fifth inning by Aledmys Diaz, who advanced to second and third base after two productive outs by St. Louis.
Stephen Piscotty’s infield single brought home Diaz to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.
The damage was minimal after that run, but that wasn’t the case anymore after the following batter Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a two-run home run that barely made it over the wall in left field.
Hazelbaker’s HR was the seventh hit Greinke had given up, making it his third start — all at home — in which he’s allowed at least seven hits. Greinke only allowed that many hits four times in 2015.
“The last pitch threw to Hazelbaker was pretty bad, high changeup,” Greinke said after the game.
He would go on to pitch a scoreless sixth, and that was followed by a nine-run explosion by Arizona in the bottom half to give Greinke plenty of breathing room.
He hit another bump in the road the next inning, however, giving up two more runs in the seventh before being pulled for Andrew Chafin.
The veteran right-hander earned the win in 6.2 innings, giving up 11 hits and seven earned runs.
“I thought I did alright, which is kind of embarrassing, giving up seven runs thinking you did alright,” Greinke said.
Greinke’s outing continues the disappointment surrounding the D-backs’ two big acquisitions that made them the talk of the baseball world this offseason. His ERA now stands at 6.16, and Shelby Miller is winless with an 8.59 ERA in four starts.
Miller will take the mound against his former team on Tuesday.
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