Miami Marlins

Versatile ace Zack Greinke delivers historic performance while dominating the Marlins

He has long been known as one of the best-hitting pitchers in baseball.

Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke could steal bases too.

Greinke was dominant on the mound, at the plate and on the base paths as he dealt the Marlins their third consecutive defeat 4-0 on Thursday at Marlins Park.

Greinke threw seven shutout innings, striking out six and went 2 for 3 with an RBI as Arizona (47-34) handed the Marlins (32-50) their seventh shutout loss of the season.

"He was just a handful today," said Marlins manager Don Mattingly, who managed Greinke while he was with the L.A. Dodgers. "He's able to do some things with the ball and change gears on you. He was a tough guy to handle today. Our guys were fighting, but it felt like we were fighting with a hand tied behind our back."

Greinke, who improved to 8-5 with a 3.41 ERA this season, also snapped Marlins catcher Bryan Holaday’s franchise-record streak of nine consecutive runners caught stealing when he stole second base.

Holaday’s streak fell three short of the major-league record 12.

Greinke made history becoming the first pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1969 to record a hit, RBI and a stolen base in two games in a season. He is also the first pitcher in Diamondbacks history with two or more stolen bases in a season and first overall to do that since he did it in 2013 with the Dodgers and Andrew Cashner did for the Padres that year.

"I've seen him do that and pick his spots," Mattingly said. "He pays attention and quite honestly can really hit. He's probably got a better swing than 70 percent of the guys in the major leagues and I'm serious about that. If you look at his mechanics and what he does, and he only gets to hit once every five days, it's a lesson for all of us. He's an example from a standpoint of how pitchers can work on their hitting and help themselves win more games."

Miami dropped three of four to the National League West-leading Diamondbacks this week and six of seven for the season something Mattingly credited to Arizona's marked experience advantage.

After the stolen base, Greinke would come around to score on Paul Goldschmidt’s single two batters later to extend Arizona’s lead to 3-0 in that inning.

Holaday recorded two hits and JT Riddle had his first three-hit game of the season and the third of his young career.

Holaday started again in place of J.T. Realmuto, who sat out for the fourth consecutive game with a sore left wrist but said he expected to be back on Friday.

Marlins' rookie starter Trevor Richards lasted only four innings after throwing 75 pitches. He walked two and struck out three as the rookie fell to 2-5 on the season with a 5.06 ERA.

"The first few innings there were a couple of pitches that missed spots and they took advantage of it," Richards said. "Their hitters laid off the changeup pretty well and I just didn't get them to swing at it."

WORLD CUP INSPIRATION

Tayron Guerrero proudly displayed his soccer jersey of his native Colombia in his locker again on Thursday morning.

The Marlins’ hard-throwing reliever then celebrated just before first pitch as Colombia secured victory and advancement beyond the group stage of the World Cup.

Guerrero’s continued improvement along with another strong outing in relief was one of the few things the Marlins could enjoy once the game started.

"I'm thrilled and I was able to see the whole game before I went out there and it definitely fired me up out there today," Guerrero said.

Miami Marlins reliever Tayron Guerrero talks about his progress on the mound in recent weeks after he pitched Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks

Guerrero and Brett Graves, who pitched two scoreless innings, were the only two Marlins pitchers who went unscathed.

After a stretch of 17 appearances in which Guerrero compiled a 6.89 ERA, he pitched his seventh consecutive outing without allowing an earned run.

Guerrero (1-2, 4.50 ERA), a 27-year old rookie, didn’t dial up his typical 100-plus mph speed on the fastball on Thursday, but 98.5 mph and was consistently around 97 mph during his 14-pitch outing.

Mattingly credited Guerrero for improving in all aspects of the game not just pitching but other things such as holding or picking off runners on base.

"In Arizona, they stole third [base] on him when he holds the ball," Mattingly said. "But today, the guy took off early, he steps off and throws to second. It may seem like a little thing but it's a nice sign that he has things under control out there."

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