LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zack Greinke outpitched Cole Hamels with seven strong innings, Hanley Ramirez homered and Yasiel Puig drove in two runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
Greinke (4-0) allowed two runs and five hits while striking out 11 and walking one batter intentionally.
Manager Don Mattingly tried to squeeze one more inning out of Greinke, but lifted him after Jayson Nix drove the right-hander’s 108th pitch to left-center for a leadoff homer.
J.P. Howell got three outs in the eighth, and Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save after the Dodgers picked up a couple of insurance runs in the eighth on Ramirez’s leadoff homer to center and Justin Turner’s RBI single off Shawn Camp.
Greinke is off to the second-best start of his 11-year career. He won his first six decisions in 2009 with Kansas City. It was Greinke’s 18th double-digit strikeout game in the majors and his first in 33 starts with the Dodgers.
This was the 17th consecutive start in which Greinke pitched at least five innings while allowing fewer than three runs.
Hamels took the loss in his season debut, after missing the first three weeks because of biceps tendinitis. The 30-year-old left-hander allowed two runs and six hits over six innings, struck out five and walked one.
Puig struck out his first two times up, but lined an RBI single to right in the fifth to put the Dodgers ahead 2-1 after Hamels gave up a two-out single by Drew Butera and walked Greinke.
Juan Uribe’s sacrifice fly gave Los Angeles 1-0 lead in the second, after Matt Kemp led off with the first of his two doubles. Ryan Howard tied it in the fourth with an RBI single after a leadoff double by Jimmy Rollins.
Greinke had nine strikeouts through the first five innings, including five in a row after Howard’s hit. Greinke doubled with two outs in the seventh and scored on Puig’s triple off the right field fence.
NOTES: Two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start on Friday with Class A Rancho Cucamonga as he works his way back from a muscle strain in his upper back. He last pitched for the Dodgers in a season-opening 3-1 win over Arizona during the team’s two-game visit to Australia. … Dodgers 1B and cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez, whose 16-game hitting streak ended Tuesday, didn’t start for the first time this season. He pinch-hit in the ninth and flied out to the warning track in center with two men on.