Thursday, June 23, 2016

Resurgent Greinke looking for payback vs. Rox

When the D-backs and Rockies open their four-game series at Coors Field on Thursday, it'll be a battle between recent history and more recent history.
Zack Greinke, in his first year with the D-backs, will be on the hill, making his third start of the season versus Colorado. In his two previous starts, he's been roughed up for nine earned runs and 17 hits in 11 innings. However, things have turned around for Greinke since those two April starts. Greinke is in the midst of a seven-game win streak and has shaved nearly two runs off his ERA over that span. In June, especially, Greinke has looked like the Cy Young runner-up he was a year ago, having allowed just three runs in 31 innings over four starts.
To Rockies manager Walt Weiss, facing Greinke is a challenge, but it's nothing new.
"We're used to it. Look at our division," Weiss said. "We play all year in our division and it's Kershaw, it's Bumgarner, it's Greinke, it's Cueto. We're used to facing those elite guys. And when Greinke's rolling, he's as good as anybody. We caught him a couple of times this year when he got off to a slow start, but he's locked in right now and we're going to have to scratch and claw for runs."
Three things to know about this game
• If there's any one batter who may be able to shake Greinke back down to his underperforming April status, it's rookie shortstop Trevor Story. In seven at-bats against Greinke this season, Story has rocketed three hits, all for extra bases and two for home runs. In general, Story has feasted on the D-backs, with five of his 18 home runs, 15 of his 46 RBI and nine of his 38 extra-base hits coming against the Snakes.
• Eddie Butler will re-emerge out of the Rockies' bullpen to start the opener after making his last appearance in relief on Saturday. Butler has a 5.97 ERA as a starter this season and a 7.56 ERA out of the 'pen.
• The Rockies are 13-11 in series openers this season. The D-backs are 11-13.

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