The Los Angeles Dodgers have entered unchartered territory, as they’re on a season-high four-game losing streak and have now lost back-to-back series for the first time since early April. They face Zack Greinke on Thursday, needing a win to avoid being swept for the first time in 2017.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have used the same blueprint to notch consecutive wins — jump on a Dodgers starter early and hold off a late rally. Kenta Maeda looks to fare better than Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who allowed a combined eight runs in the first inning.
Maeda is 7-2 with a 2.78 ERA in his last 10 starts, allowing opponents to bat .209/.252/.358 during that span. He limited the Diamondbacks to one run on four hits and had six strikeouts in five innings on Aug. 8.
The results were markedly better than what had been his last start at Chase Field, as Maeda surrendered four homers and allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings of work in April.
Jake Lamb is a career 9-for-22 off Maeda, with three doubles, two home runs and six RBI. Brandon Drury is 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI, while Paul Goldschmidt is just 4-for-23 with one RBI and five strikeouts.
Greinke looks to give the Diamondbacks a second quality start in the series; Zack Godley allowed four runs over his six innings of work on Tuesday. Greinke enters 15-6 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, including 12-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 15 home starts.
He’s suffered the loss in both starts against the Dodgers this season, having allowed eight runs over 11.2 innings (6.17 ERA). Greinke has 12 strikeouts against seven walks in those games.
Corey Seager has hit his former teammate well (6-for-11 with one double, two home runs and four RBI) but remains out of the Dodgers lineup due to a sore right elbow. While the Dodgers are limiting Seager to pinch-hit duty, he maintained his elbow is 100 percent.
Adrian Gonzalez is 4-for-14 with a home run and three RBI in his career against Greinke, while Justin Turner is 6-for-16 with two doubles, one triple, one home run and five RBI.
SS: Chris Taylor
CF: Curtis Granderson
3B: Justin Turner
LF: Cody Bellinger
C: Yamsani Grandal
RF: Yasiel Puig
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
2B: Logan Forsythe
P: Kenta Maeda
LF: Gregor Blanco
C: Chris Iannetta
3B: Jake Lamb
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
RF: J.D. Martinez
CF: A.J. Pollock
2B: Daniel Descalso
SS: Ketel Marte
P: Zack Greinke