The right-hander looks for a third consecutive strong outing Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
Greinke (3-1, 3.68 ERA) was hit by a pitch from Arizona's Ian Kennedy in the seventh inning of Los Angeles' 5-3 win Tuesday. That incited the nastier of the game's two bench-clearing incidents. Greinke plunked the Diamondbacks' Miguel Montero in the top of the inning, a likely response for Kennedy hitting Dodgers star rookie Yasiel Puig earlier in the contest.
The second incident resulted in eight suspensions and a fine for Greinke, who watched from the perimeter as the pushing, shoving and punching took place. He likely knew better after spending more than a month on the disabled list after breaking his collarbone in a brawl with San Diego's Carlos Quentin , who charged the mound after being hit with a pitch by Greinke on April 11.
The veteran pitcher was cautious when discussing the ramifications of this incident and his role in another on-field brawl.
"Every answer I have can be put in a way to make things wrong, you know?" Greinke told the Dodgers' official website.
His focus should be on the mound, where he's allowed two runs and six hits over 14 innings to go 1-0 in his last two starts. He went 0-1 with an 8.78 ERA in the previous three. Greinke allowed a two-run homer to Jason Kubel and one other hit over seven innings against Arizona.
Greinke is 5-1 in seven starts versus Pittsburgh (40-28) despite a 4.85 ERA. He beat the Pirates on April 5 with a dominant effort, allowing two hits without a walk in 6 1-3 innings of a 3-0 victory.
Los Angeles (29-38) had lost five of six before beating Pittsburgh 5-3 in 11 innings on Saturday. The Dodgers blew a one-run lead on Travis Snider 's homer off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning, but Juan Uribe delivered an RBI single in the 11th.
"Right now, every win is good," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's what we've been kind of talking about, staying afloat and treading water until we can put together some semblance of a winning streak."
Andre Ethier scored the winner and had three hits with an RBI. He's 7 for 16 in his last four games to raise his average from a season-low .229 to .244. He's batting .360 in his last six at PNC Park.
The Dodgers have won four of five this season against the Pirates, who are 6-8 since winning 16 of 20.
Pittsburgh shortstop Jordy Mercer had two hits Saturday and is 7 for 17 in the last four games.
Gerrit Cole (1-0, 2.84) returns to the mound after a strong major league debut Tuesday, when he allowed two runs and overcame seven hits in 6 1-3 innings of an 8-2 victory over San Francisco.
The 2011 overall No. 1 pick also had a two-run single in his first career at-bat.
"There was no deer-in-the-headlight look from him at all," Pirates second baseman Neil Walker said of the Southern California native. "He worked quick, he worked efficiently, he threw strikes and that is all good things for a defense.
"He's a lot more polished than a lot of guys who have gotten their start in the big leagues."
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|June 12, 2013||Yasiel Puig||Day-to-Day||Strained shoulder|
|June 11, 2013||Scott Van Slyke||15-Day DL||Left shoulder bursitis|
|June 08, 2013||Ted Lilly||Day-to-Day||Neck discomfort|
|June 07, 2013||Hanley Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 05, 2013||Ted Lilly||15-Day DL||Neck sprain|
|June 05, 2013||Mark Ellis||Day-to-Day||Groin injury|
|June 09, 2013||A.J. Burnett||15-Day DL||Strained right calf|
|June 06, 2013||Jared Hughes||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 06, 2013||Wandy Rodriguez||15-Day DL||Left forearm tightness|
|June 03, 2013||Phil Irwin||60-Day DL||Right arm fatigue|
|June 03, 2013||Jeanmar Gomez||15-Day DL||Right forearm tightness|
|May 28, 2013||Jose Contreras||15-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Gerrit Cole is off to a perfect start in the major leagues. The rookie, however, feels he has been far from perfect.
Cole won again, getting home run help from Pedro Alvarez and pitching the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3 Sunday.
Cole (2-0) allowed three runs on seven hits and no walks in 5 2-3 innings. The top pick from the 2011 draft won in his big league debut last week.
"I'm really happy to be able to come up here and pitch well enough to help the team win," Cole said. "But I also know I need to do more.
"I've only gone 6 1-3 and 5 2-3 innings in my two starts. I need to get deeper than that. We're getting the point in the season where the bullpen is going to start having aches and pains and I need to eat up more innings to help those guys out. That's why I'm here," he said.
Cole wasn't as sharp as he was in his debut against San Francisco when he took a shutout into the seventh inning. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was pleased with this outing.
"He had to compete. He had to go out and battle," Hurdle said. "He knows how to pitch. He knew how to get outs when he needed them."
Alvarez snapped a 2-all tie when he connected off Zack Greinke (3-2) for a three-run homer in the fifth. Alvarez leads the Pirates with 15 homers.
"We needed someone to click one with men on base and Pedro clicked one," Hurdle said.
Alvarez's father, also named Pedro, was in the stands for Father's Day. The elder Alvarez moved his family to New York from the Dominican Republic when his son was 1 year old, and dad made a living driving a livery cab.
Alvarez also hit a home run against the Mets in New York on Mother's Day.
"It just makes it extra special," Alvarez said.
The Pirates won for the sixth time in their last nine games. Alex Presley had three hits, including a home run, and Garrett Jones added a two-run single.
Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig got three hits and raised his batting average to .479 in his first 48 at-bats in the majors.
Greinke (3-2) was touched for five runs and eight hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Greinke started for the first time since pitching - and getting hit by a pitch - in Tuesday's game against Arizona that wound up in a brawl. Eight people were suspended, and Greinke was among four others who were only fined.
Los Angeles lost for the sixth time in eight games.
There were two outs and no one on in the fifth with the score tied at 2 when Jones singled and Neil Walker walked. Alvarez, who was 1 for 14 in his career against Greinke, then hit a drive into the shrubbery in dead center field.
"The main thing was some big situations came up and I made bad pitches in important situations," Greinke said. "That's what happened."
After Jones gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead in the first, the Dodgers tied it. Puig led off the second with a single, stole second and scored on Tim Federowicz 's groundout. Andre Ethier hit an RBI single in the fourth.
Los Angeles closed to 5-3 in the sixth as Ethier singled home Adrian Gonzalez , who had doubled.
The Pirates got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Presley hit his second homer into the right-field stands off Matt Guerrier .
The Dodgers fell a season-worst 10 games under .500 at 29-39.
"It's been kind of the same story and that's that we haven't been able to win a series," manager Don Mattingly said. "We were in a position to win this series and had Greinke on the mound and we didn't get it done again."
NOTES: Puig is likely to stay in the majors even when OFs Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford are activated from the disabled list, Mattingly said before the game. ... Los Angeles 3B Juan Uribe was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of tightness in his back but was available to pinch-hit. . Pittsburgh C Russell Martin was in the original starting lineup then removed because of lower body soreness. ... Pirates LF Starling Marte did not start for the fourth straight day because of a strained left oblique muscle but entered the game in the sixth inning as part of a double switch. ... Pittsburgh opens a four-game series at Cincinnati on Monday night with LHP Francisco Liriano (5-2, 2.36) facing Reds RHP Mike Leake (6-3, 2.76). ... The Dodgers are off Monday, then open a two-game series Tuesday night against the Yankees in New York. It will be Mattingly's first trip in uniform to the Bronx since the Yankees passed him over and hired Joe Girardi as manager following the 2007 season.