Zack Greinke's first complete game as a Dodger was an absolute gem, a two-hitter that enabled Los Angeles to squeak out a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies in a tight pitcher's duel.
Greinke (8-2) retired the first 13 Colorado hitters and walked just one while racking up a season-best nine strikeouts in easily the offseason free-agent acquisition's most dominant start in Dodger Blue.
Los Angeles needed the high-priced right-hander to be at his best as well, with Colorado's Tyler Chatwood (5-3) limiting the Dodgers to only four hits and a pair of walks in the youngster's first career complete game.
Chatwood's only blemish in the hard-luck defeat came in the bottom of the opening inning, when Skip Schumaker laced his first pitch of the afternoon into the left-field corner for a double and later scored the contest's lone run on a Hanley Ramirez groundout.
"That was definitely a tough one," said Chatwood, who recorded 16 of his 24 outs on the ground. "My stuff was the same all game and I attacked, but you have to tip your cap to Zack. He pitched a good game."
Colorado got the tying run to second with none out in the top of the eighth, but Greinke set down the next three hitters before finishing off his 110-pitch masterpiece with a 1-2-3 ninth that gave the resurgent Dodgers their sixth win in seven games.
"That was pretty special what he did," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said of Greinke. "He controlled his fastball and kept them off balance."
Five days after yielding two hits through seven scoreless frames to best NL West leader Arizona, Greinke picked off right where he left off. The former AL Cy Young Award winner was working on a perfect game when Todd Helton singled with one out in the top of the fifth, then surrendered just one more hit -- a bunt single by Jonathan Herrera to lead off the sixth.
The Rockies couldn't capitalize, though, as Herrera was quickly gunned down by Ellis while trying to steal second.
Helton grinded out a nine-pitch walk to in the top of the eighth with his team still down by one, and pinch-runner Josh Rutledge swiped second to put the potential tying run in scoring position. Colorado couldn't get a ball out of the infield the rest of the way, however, with Greinke finishing off his 13th career complete game with back-to-back strikeouts of Dexter Fowler and DJ LeMahieu.
"I felt good out there," said Greinke afterward. "I kept the ball down in the zone. Today it felt good all the way through."
Chatwood was just about as good, especially after a shaky beginning in which he hit Mark Ellis with a fastball right after Schumaker's double. Both runners advanced on Adrian Gonzalez' grounder to second before Ramirez was able to bring Schumaker home from third.
The Colorado righty held Los Angeles squarely in check thereafter, with the Dodgers failing to get a man past second over the rest of the game.
Greinke has now won five straight starts for the first time since July 17-27, 2011 and improved to 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA in seven Dodger Stadium assignments this season ... Greinke notched his first complete game since Sept. 9, 2010 at Minnesota while with Kansas City and fourth career shutout, with the last coming during his Cy Young campaign of 2009 with the Royals (Aug. 30 at Seattle) ... The Dodgers played without rookie sensation Yasiel Puig due to a sore left hip, while fellow outfielder Carl Crawford sat out a second straight game with a stiff back ... Mark Ellis exited with an apparent leg injury after reaching on an error in the eighth ... Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier had a 10-game hit streak snapped after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts ... Chatwood has allowed just five runs in 36 2/3 innings over six road starts this season.