Los Angeles, CA – Zack Greinke pitched for the first time since suffering a broken left collarbone to help the Los Angeles Dodgers take a 3-1 win over the Washington Nationals in the finale of a three-game series.
Greinke (2-0) suffered the injury in a brawl with San Diego on April 11 and had surgery to repair the injury. The club said his injury is still healing and they were taking a chance putting him on the mound as he could sustain further injury.
However, he gave up just one run on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings to get the win on Wednesday. He also added an RBI single in the second inning to help his cause.
"It feels pretty good to be back. I felt I was healthy enough to pitch over two weeks ago, I just wasn't sharp enough to pitch," Greinke said. "The collarbone feels pretty good. It's not 100 percent, but it doesn't restrict me at all pitching."
Adrian Gonzalez added an RBI single in the first while Carl Crawford contributed a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning for the Dodgers, who have won four of their last five games.
Adam LaRoche's home run accounted for the offense for the Nationals, who have dropped four of their last five games. Ross Detwiler (2-4) lasted just three innings in the start as he gave up two runs on six hits with two walks to take the loss.
The Dodgers jumped on top in the first as Matt Kemp hit a two-out double and Gonzalez followed with a single to center for a 1-0 lead.
Los Angeles put its first two runners on base in the second, but Juan Uribe hit into a double play to leave a man at third. Greinke, though, stroked a base hit to right for a 2-0 lead.
Greinke stranded runners at second in the second and third innings, but LaRoche got his team on the board in the fourth with a one-out solo shot to right-center for his fourth home run of the year.
After stranding another runner in the fifth, Greinke got Ryan Zimmerman to ground out to start the sixth before stepping off the mound.
Denard Span was caught stealing second to end a Washington threat in the seventh, and the team had runners at the corners off consecutive singles by Steve Lombardozzi and Zimmerman to start the eighth off of Kenley Jansen. However, Jansen got LaRoche to fly out to shallow left, Ian Desmond to strike out swinging then forced a flyout from Kurt Suzuki to get out of the jam.
Crawford's pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the eighth gave the Dodgers some breathing space for a 3-1 lead.
Brandon League came on to close the game and Danny Espinosa greeted him with a leadoff single. League, though, set down the next three batters to pick up his ninth save of the season.
"We had the right guys up there," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "I don't know if they were trying to do too much instead of just hitting the ball and putting it in play. But we'll figure it out. We've got the guys to do it."
Washington catcher Wilson Ramos left after hitting a single in the fourth inning with an undisclosed injury ... The Dodgers have Thursday off before beginning a three-game series in Atlanta on Friday ... The Nationals begin a four-game set in San Diego on Thursday ... Washington's Bryce Harper pinch-hit in the ninth inning and grounded out. It was his first appearance since leaving Monday's game after colliding with the right field scoreboard. He had to get 11 stitches in his chin to close a gash he suffered ... Washington went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base.