Zack Greinke’s 1st pitch in a L.A Angels uniform was lined to left field for a single by Desmond Jennings, who never had faced him in a regular-season game.
Greinke shrugged it off and pitched his usual game, although his run support was nonexistent thanks to Jeremy Hellickson and Tampa Bay’s bullpen. Greinke was outpitched by Hellickson in a 2-0 loss; 2 days after the Angels acquired the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner from Milwaukee.
“Hopefully I’ll win a bunch of games and it becomes a fun season,” Greinke declared. “Everything’s just happened quite fast — traveling here, meeting a bunch of new people, going over things with the catcher and having a day game rather than a night game, which would have made it better to get changed. So a lot of things were going on. But once you get on the mound, it is the same game no matter where you´re pitching and who it’s against.”
Greinke (0-1) allowed 2 runs and 7 hits in 7 innings and struck out 8. He gave up an RBI single to Matt Joyce in the 6th and threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the 7th after Carlos Pena doubled and advanced on a groundout.
“I made plenty of good pitches — but some bad ones, too,” Greinke recounted. “I thought my fastball command could have been far better. I was pretty upset with the 1st-pitch curveball to Pena. The wild pitch was just a bad break. No catcher in the world would have stopped that one. You throw a 2-strike slider down and hope that doesn’t happen.” Football lines
Greinke, eligible for free agency after the season, was 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts with the Brewers.
Hellickson (6-6) pitched 2-hit ball thru 6 innings, striking out 5 and walking none. He retired 15 of his 1st 16 batters, permitting only Maicer Izturis’ leadoff single in the 4rth. The Angels’ other hit off him was a leadoff single by Chris Iannetta in the 6th – a liner that deflected off the glove of diving 2nd baseman Ben Zobrist.
Hellickson won in spite of throwing up 5 times in the game.
Hellickson has won consecutive starts for the 1st time since April 19-25, when he beat the Yankees 9-4 and followed that with a 3-2 victory over the L.A Angels. He was 0-6 with a 4.29 ERA in 9 starts preceding these last 2 outings.
“Throwing strikes was the key thing,” Hellickson declared. “The last 2 games I’ve been attacking the hitters better than I have been. Having no walks is big for me. I was getting in front of guys, and the defense was making good plays for me.”
Greinke, acquired for Double-A right-handers Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg, was prevented from turning into the 3rd pitcher in top history to win 20 consecutive home decisions. Pittsburgh’s Ray Kremer won 23 direct from 1926-27 and the Yankees’ Lefty Grove had 20 in a row from 1938-41. Greinke’s previous home loss was with Kansas City on July 26, 2010, when Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 19-1.