MIAMI (AP) – Zack Greinke grinned as he stepped to the plate in the sixth inning Thursday, and then swung at the first pitch for another hit.
The Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander pitched seven innings and was an offensive dynamo, too, helping to beat the Miami Marlins 4-0.
Greinke singled twice, drove in a run, stole a base and scored. No wonder he looked to be enjoying himself.
“It’s more fun when you’re doing good,” Greinke said. “Today was a lot of good results, so it was a fun day.”
His offensive feats were impressive, but maybe not that surprising. He leads Arizona pitchers this year with four RBIs and four runs, raised his season average to .300, and is now 7 for 7 lifetime in steal attempts.
Greinke became the first pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1969 to have a hit, an RBI and a stolen base in at least two games in a season.
“He’s a baseball player, and I don’t say that about a lot of pitchers,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He probably has a better swing than 70 percent of the guys in the big leagues, and I’m serious about that.”
As for pitching, Greinke (8-5) won for the fifth time in his past six starts. He allowed seven hits – all singles – but walked none and benefited from several good defensive plays. The outing matched his longest this year.
“As the game goes, you kind of get that flat feeling,” Mattingly said. “He was just a handful. He’s able to do some different things with the ball and change gears on you.”
Three relievers completed a 10-hitter for Arizona’s fourth shutout of the season.
Paul Goldschmidt continued his recent tear with three hits, and Nick Ahmed added two hits. Each scored and drove in a run.
The Diamondbacks (47-34) finished 8-2 on a three-city trip
“I can’t think of a day where we played bad really,” Greinke said. “The defense was good, pitching was good, hitting was good, baserunning was good. It was just a lot of good things, and we never beat ourselves.”
The Diamondbacks matched their season high by climbing 13 games above .500. They won the season series against Miami 6-1.