- Associated Press - Monday, June 26, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - Zack Greinke had a lot of misses by a little bit.

But even when he’s not at his best, the Arizona right-hander is still one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Fighting his command and frustrations with a tight strike zone, Greinke overcame a shaky start to pitch five effective innings, lifting the Diamondbacks to a 6-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.

“I was missing by a little bit and they weren’t swinging at it,” Greinke said. “I wasn’t trying to miss by a little bit, but it was just happening. Sometimes they swing at that pitch, but today they weren’t, having a more patient eye and I had a deeper pitch count because of it.”

The Diamondbacks were sluggish the previous day against the Phillies, scratching out a 2-1 victory in 11 innings. They took advantage of a rough outing by Nick Pivetta (1-4) in the series finale, racking up six runs in less than three innings against the rookie right-hander.

Chris Herrmann led off the first inning with a homer and Daniel Descalso, who had the walkoff hit on Sunday, finished with three RBIs.

That gave Greinke (9-4) plenty of wiggle room as he sorted through his command issues and the bullpen shut the Phillies down for the second straight game.

Arizona won for the 12th time in 14 games to extend the best start in team history (49-28). The Diamondbacks also won their fifth straight home series and ninth overall, matching their 2016 total.

“Nice way to close out a series,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We played an afternoon game and I thought the guys were prepared, ready and executed early.”

The Phillies continued to struggle offensively, managing five hits while going 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. Philadelphia scored six runs in the first game of the series and four in the next three to lose for the 10th time in 14 games against Arizona.

“You know the old saying, pitching and defense wins games,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “But if you can’t hit, you can’t win a lot of games.”

Greinke entered the game 6-0 at Chase Field this season, but needed 23 pitches to get through the first inning. He worked around the traffic without giving up a run and settled in after that, keeping the Phillies in check until Freddy Galvis’ RBI single in the fifth inning.

Greinke allowed a run and three hits with seven strikeouts.

“There was a certain degree of frustration from time to time,” Lovullo said. “But he came out of the game with a chance to win and the bullpen did a nice job.”

Pivetta also struggled at the start, but didn’t recover.

The right-hander gave up a homer to the first batter he faced, a line drive into the pool in right field by Herrmann. Descalso had a run-scoring single in the second inning, then Pivetta had trouble finding the strike zone, walking three straight batters for another run.

Descalso added a two-run single in Arizona’s three-run third for a 6-0 lead.

Pivetta allowed seven hits and walked five in 2 2/3 innings.

“I didn’t really have much of a release point, couldn’t really feel the ball out of my hand out of the stretch, which really killed me,” Pivetta said.

NUMBERS

Arizona’s Chris Owings had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. … Philadelphia’s Odubal Herrera has a 13-game road hitting streak. … Arizona has won 14 of its past 16 home games.

PHILLIES MOVES

The Phillies recalled RHP Ricardo Pinto from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and optioned RHP Edubray Ramos to the Iron Pigs prior to Monday’s game. Pinto is making his second appearance with the Phillies after pitching 14 scoreless innings in the minors.

TRAINER’S TABLE

Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff tested his strained back in a bullpen session on Sunday, but the Phillies have not decided whether he’ll skip another start or not.

Diamondbacks: CF A.J. Pollock is expected to play another rehab game for Triple-Reno on Tuesday. He went 0 for 2 in four innings Sunday as he works his way back from a pair of leg injuries.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola struck out a season-best seven the previous time out and will start the opener of Philadelphia’s two-game series at Seattle on Tuesday.

Diamondbacks: RHP Taijuan Walker is 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA in his past seven starts heading into Tuesday’s game against St. Louis.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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