Greinke eyes another gem in San Diego

Los Angeles righty Zack Greinke missed some time in spring training with an elbow injury. You wouldn't have known it, though, after watching his first outing.

The former American League Cy Young Award winner tries to follow up a sensational Dodgers debut on Thursday in the finale of a three-game set against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Greinke, who signed a six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers this offseason, showed no ill-effects of the elbow tenderness that hindered him a month ago against Pittsburgh on Friday, as he scattered two hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings. He also struck out six without walking a batter in the win.

"My fastball was good, that was most important," said Greinke, who made 92 pitches. "Any time you can locate that, it makes all the other pitches better."

Greinke beat the Padres the only other time he faced them.

San Diego will pin its hopes on righty Jason Marquis, who lost his first start to Colorado on Friday. Marquis gave up five runs in that one, but only two were earned in his six innings of work.

Marquis has faced the Dodgers 15 times (14 starts) and is 6-4 against them with a 3.00 ERA.

Los Angeles bounced back from a loss in the opener of this set on Wednesday, as A.J. Ellis hit a two-run homer and Chad Billingsley made a successful return to the mound in the Dodgers' 4-3 win.

Billingsley (1-0) made his first start since Aug. 24 of last season, when he suffered a partially torn ligament in his elbow. An index finger injury in spring training put him on the disabled list to start the 2013 campaign, but the right-hander tossed an six effective innings of one-run ball, allowing just five hits.

"It definitely felt great to be back out there," said Billingsley. "(Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford) gets us a one-run lead and gave me a little cushion early."

Crawford went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and a triple, while Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Luis Cruz and Justin Sellers each had two hits for the Dodgers. Brandon League worked around a shaky ninth inning to pick up his third save.

The Padres, who broke out of their scoring slump with a 9-3 win in the series opener, struggled offensively all game until plating two runs in the ninth. Chris Denorfia went 2-for-5 with an RBI and Will Venable drove in a run in the setback.

Former Dodger Eric Stults (1-1) was charged with the loss. He gave up four runs on eight hits in five innings.

"It's still early, but you don't like to see this," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We're going to keep an eye on this. We need to get some length out of our starters."

The Dodgers were 11-7 against the Padres last season.