Zack Greinke grinned as he stepped to the plate in the sixth inning Thursday afternoon Sebastian Janikowski Jersey , 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 Mike Daniels Jersey , 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.
The finale started at 9:10 a.m. Phoenix time, but the Diamondbacks were ready to go and led 3-0 by the second inning.
”The biggest thing was being ready to go on the first pitch and not sleepwalking into it,” Goldschmidt said.
Greinke helped get his teammates going. In the second he singled, easily stole second and scored on Goldschmidt’s two-out single. He added a two-out opposite-field RBI single in the sixth to make it 4-0.
Greinke improved to 7-0 in 12 games against the Marlins. At Marlins Park, he’s 6-0 in six starts with a 1.48 ERA.
Trevor Richards (2-5) allowed three runs in four innings. Miami rookie Brian Anderson went 0 for 4, ending his 24-game on-base streak Dave Robinson Jersey , the longest active string in the National League.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Greinke on matching Gibson’s offensive feats: ”There’s a record every game. You’ve just got to look hard enough for it.”
D-BACKS’ D
With runners at the corners in the second, Goldschmidt charged Bryan Holaday’s grounder to first and started a nifty ending-inning double play. Right fielder Jon Jay made a catch as he slid into the wall in foul territory to rob Anderson. Second baseman Daniel Descalso committed an error in the third but made amends later in the inning by lunging to snare Starlin Castro’s sharp grounder and save a run.
STREAK ENDS
Miami backup catcher Holaday had thrown out a team record nine consecutive runners attempting to steal, but Greinke got a huge jump to end the streak.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Marlins: C J.T. Realmuto (wrist) missed his third consecutive game but expects to play Friday. Miami is 26-29 when he starts and 6-21 when he doesn’t start.
ROSTER
After the game, Marlins RHP Nick Wittgren was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
UP NEXT
Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin (6-3, 3.24) is scheduled to start Friday when Arizona returns home to begin a weekend series against the Giants.
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara, Miami’s top pitching prospect, will be recalled from New Orleans to start Friday against the Mets. Alcantara, acquired in the trade that sent OF Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals, will make his Marlins debut. He’s 5-3 with a 3.71 ERA in 14 starts for New Orleans this year.
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee fired back at free agent receiver Dez Bryant on Friday after his former teammate called him a ”snake” on Twitter while suggesting Lee played a role in the club’s decision to release its career leader in touchdown catches.
The exchange was prompted by a radio station’s tweet from an interview with executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones. He suggested that quarterback Dak Prescott felt pressure to get the ball to Bryant.
”First thing, to say that I can get anybody off the team and have any input on a roster is absurd,” Lee said. ”The second thing, I love Dez and I want the best for him.
”You know, to be honest, we did butt heads Ryan Allen Jersey , because I wanted Dez to be more accountable to this team and his teammates. To be honest with you, a lot of the team felt that way. I think he needs to look at himself and hold himself accountable.”
In an expletive-laden response to the radio station’s tweet, Bryant criticized the team’s play-calling. A second tweet suggested ”my brother snake Lee I mean Sean Lee” and center Travis Frederick had a hand in the decision to release Bryant.
Frederick said it wasn’t reasonable to think a fifth-year player, which he is, could wield influence on roster decisions.
”It’s certainly disappointing,” Frederick said. ”It’s disappointing when you hear guys turn against each other, but I think in the end Dez was a great teammate of mine and I’d still consider him a friend.”
The radio station’s original tweet didn’t include all of Jones’ quote, leaving out a portion that made a reference to tight end Jason Witten. The club’s leader in catches and games retired after 15 seasons to go into broadcasting. The station sent a subsequent tweet with the portion about Witten.
”He’s gotta trust the system, which at times last year, there was pressure, with Dez in his ear and to some degree Jason in his ear,” Jones said in the radio interview. ”Those great players want the ball.”
Later, Jones said he didn’t intend to criticize Bryant.
”You got great players like Dez and Witten, they want the ball Lane Taylor Jersey ,” Jones said at Cowboys camp. ”Everybody sees it. It’s on every team. They let the quarterback know that sometimes. In no way was it intended to be negative.”
Jones wouldn’t discuss whether the front office solicited the opinions of players before releasing Bryant in April. Owner Jerry Jones said then, ”We arrived at this crossroad collectively with input from several voices within the organization.”
The owner’s comments prompted a reply on twitter from Bryant, who wrote that was ”something he already knew.” In interviews later that day, Bryant suggested that team captains and ”Garrett guys,” in reference to coach Jason Garrett, played a role in his release.
After seeing reports of Lee’s response Friday, Bryant wrote on Twitter, ”he sat right across from me.. everything he said he could have addressed with me…sounds like a back stabber to me.”
Bryant’s release came after three sub-par seasons following the $70, five-year contract he signed after his only All-Pro season in 2014. Cleveland has shown interest in signing him in recent days.
Stephen Jones said he believes Bryant knows the Cowboys still have positive feelings for the three-time Pro Bowl player. Bryant’s 73 touchdowns are two more than Hall of Famer Bob Hayes.
”Obviously these are tough times in terms how this has turned out,” Stephen Jones said. ”Dez is thinking about his future and certainly not easy on anybody. No one knows more about what I think of Dez than me.”
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