PHOENIX -- Six months after signing a record free agent deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Zack Greinke will face his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, for the first time this season Monday.
The D-backs lured Greinke to the desert with a six-year, $206.5 million contract, one year more and with a slightly higher average annual than the package the Dodgers offered, a deal the D-backs put together in about five hours and one that it turned out Greinke could not resist.
After a rough start Greinke has done some of his best work recently. He threw his first shutout since July 13, 2013, in a 5-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. He gave up three singles and two walks
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Greinke enters play Monday with a streak of 16 consecutive scoreless innings.
Last season with the Dodgers, shutout chances were a common occurrence for Greinke. He threw eight scoreless innings three times before being replaced by closer Kenley Jansen to begin the ninth. Greinke used 94 pitches in one of those starts, 93 in another. He never finished a shutout in 2015.
"With pitch counts and Kenley Jansen, one of the best closers of the game, it was hard to get a situation to have that happen," Greinke said of recording a shutout.
Arizona (28-37) has won three of its last five and is coming off its third home series win of the season, having taken two of three from the Miami Marlins over the weekend. The D-backs are 12-23 at home.
The Dodgers (33-31) have won five of their past nine games, though they dropped two of three at NL West-leading San Francisco over the weekend.
Right-hander Mike Bolsinger (1-3) will start Monday for the Dodgers he was pushed back from a scheduled Sunday start. The team decided to use lefty Julio Urias against the Giants' left-handed-leaning lineup.
Bolsinger has 5.75 ERA through four starts, the worst of which came in his most recent outing. Pitching at home against the Colorado Rockies, Bolsinger gave up six runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings on June 6.
In three career starts against the Diamondbacks, Bolsinger is 1-0 with a 3.07 ERA.
Adrian Gonzalez, who hits well at Chase Field, is just short of milestones as he enters the series. He has 296 homers and 393 doubles, and he would be the seventh active player to reach both levels. Alex Rodriguez, Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz and Miguel Cabrera are there already.
Greinke has won five straight starts, and he is 8-1 since allowing 11 runs in 10 innings in his first two outings of the season, both at Chase Field.
Greinke has gone about it in two different ways. He struck out 11 in seven innings of a 3-0 victory at Houston on June 2, and he struck out only two last Tuesday while blanking the Rays.
"It just shows you when you allow contact and your defense plays behind you, you can get through a nine-inning game with a manageable pitch count," Arizona manager Chip Hale said. "There is nothing wrong with that. The strikeout is sexy, but the two-pitch, three-pitch out is probably more economical."
Greinke said this spring that last season was the first in which he did not focus on strikeouts but rather on getting soft contact.
"What ends up happening, when he takes the strikeout out of his mind and thinks about let's get them out with good, low movement and stuff like that, he'll get the strikeouts on guys that are strikeout hitters," Hale said.