MLB

Greinke pleased with progress in 2nd spring start

Arizona Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke throws during the first inning of an exhibition baseball game against Mexico, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Arizona Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke throws during the first inning of an exhibition baseball game against Mexico, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Baby steps for Zack Greinke, and he's just fine with that.

Greinke made his second start of the spring for the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, and though he gave up six hits and two runs to Team Mexico in 2 2/3 innings, he was satisfied with his day's work in the D-backs' 10-4 victory.

"Better than the first time," he said. "Started executing pitches a little better -- especially the second and third inning. I felt like it was getting better each inning."

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Zack Greinke a lot happier with 2nd start of spring, but still work to do. 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 2/3 innings. #DbacksSpring pic.twitter.com/Bq9ngEdv5c

— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) March 8, 2017

Most of Greinke's troubles came in the first. Three of the first four Mexico batters -- none of whom are established major leaguers -- had hits, including a booming double by Luis Cruz.

"The first inning, I really don't remember it too much," Greinke said. "They it a couple of balls pretty good."

Greinke's fastball velocity was in the 88 to 89 mph range, about 2 mph slower than he threw last season.

"I was mainly 88, it's a little bit slower than normal," Greinke said. "But I started throwing a little later than normal, so hopefully it gains a little bit. It's not like it's too crazy at the moment."

.@TeamMexicoBeis takes 2-0 first inning lead off Zack Greinke. Luis Cruz with a big double. @WBCBaseball https://t.co/3X4rOn42ED pic.twitter.com/yhwbWUd0vK

— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) March 8, 2017

The most encouraging sign for Greinke is that he felt good physically and improved as the game wore on. He was removed after 49 pitches, which was pre-determined, and hopes to work up to about 65 pitches in his next outing.

"This start was way better than the first one, and that's a good sign always," he said. "Hopefully it continues to get better as camp goes. There's more than enough time for me to get ready. I don't expect to be anything but ready.

"I'm in a pretty decent spot; a lot of stuff felt really comfortable the second and third inning."

Manager Torey Lovullo said he agrees with Greinke's assessment that it was a step forward.

"I don't even know what the velocity was . . . everybody wants to to talk about the board being low. It doesn't really concern me with Zack because I know he knows the process. He knows what he has to get to, he knows that the velo will climb, and he's building it backwards. He wants to get his foundation udner him and work it up that way.

"He got outs, he made pitches. I think he suffered early with some mis-located balls that were up in the zone and he paid for it. But he made some adjustments. And that's what we're doing right now at this point in time in spring training."

.@Dbacks manager Torey Lovullo on Zack Greinke's outing. pic.twitter.com/ooPQQPu7pq

— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) March 9, 2017

EXTRA BASES

>>A.J. Pollock, Josh Pridie and Domingo Leyba each had two hits for the D-backs, and catcher Josh Thole hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning. Braden Shipley pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Greinke, giving up two hits, one walk and striking out one.

>>Lovullo said after the game that Socrates Brito suffered a dislocated ring finger on a head-first slide in Tuesday's game vs. Oakland.

"This is a perfect reason why we strongly encourage feet-first sliding," he said. "We'll continue to harp on these guys and let them know this is the reason. This is very unfortunate for Socrates "