- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 23, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - Zack Greinke was dominant again, looking a lot like the pitcher who went 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA two years ago.

His reaction: “It’s nice.”

Greinke struck out a season-high 12 and came within one out of a complete game as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Chicago White Sox 5-1 on Monday night.

The ace right-hander gave up four hits and improved to 5-0 in his last six starts.

“It was another Zack moment for us,” manager Torey Lovullo said.

The crowd booed loudly when Lovullo walked to the mound to pull Greinke (6-2) after Jose Abreu’s two-out double in the ninth.

Lovullo understood.

“Sometimes you’ve got to sit in the seat and not make popular decisions,” he said, “but I made a deal with Zack.”

Basically, it was three up and three down or he was not finishing the game.

Greinke wasn’t surprised to see Lovullo come to the mound.

“Torey told me I had to get everyone out and I didn’t,” he said.

Greinke threw 104 pitches and everything was working for him. He was asked to compare the way he’s pitching now to that masterful 2015 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers that helped earn him a $206.5 million, six-year contract in Arizona.

The three-time All-Star and 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner went 13-7 with a 4.37 ERA in his abbreviated first season with the Diamondbacks.

“Right now I’m making really good pitches,” Greinke said. “The pitches aren’t quite as sharp maybe as that year, but the location’s been just as good, maybe better.”

Daniel Descalso hit a three-run homer with two outs in the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie.

Greinke’s final strikeout - of Yolmer Sanchez - was with a 65 mph curveball; the scoreboard called it an eephus pitch.

“We hadn’t seen that all day,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said.

Greinke said he tried to throw the same pitch earlier but it was a little too hard and it wound up being hit for a home run by Leury Garcia.

Paul Goldschmidt added a solo shot for the Diamondbacks during their sixth victory in seven games.

After totaling 24 runs in their last two games at Seattle over the weekend, the White Sox managed only Garcia’s solo homer against Greinke, who walked one in his third double-digit strikeout game this season.

Miguel Gonzalez (3-5) went five-plus innings, permitting five runs - four earned - and seven hits.

“Those two pitches - a curveball, a three-run homer, and a fastball in (for Goldschmidt’s homer),” Gonzalez said. “Those two pitches, if I take them back you never know. It is a different ballgame.”

Jake Lamb, just selected NL player of the week, tripled to right-center and scored for Arizona.

Leading off the sixth, Goldschmidt jumped on Gonzalez’s fastball and lined it into the left-field seats.

Lamb followed with a triple and Arizona went on to load the bases.

Rey Fuentes grounded sharply to shortstop Tim Anderson, who tried to force the runner at home. White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez couldn’t quite come up with Anderson’s low throw, the ball dropping out of his mitt. Anderson was charged with an error, and it was 5-1.


White Sox: Three pitchers on the DL threw in a simulated game at Chase Field. Carlos Rodon (bursitis in left shoulder) pitched six innings. Nate Jones (right elbow neuritis) and Jake Petricka (strained right lat) each worked an inning. … Yoan Moncada, rated the game’s top prospect by Baseball America, remains on the seven-day DL at Triple-A with a sore left thumb.

Diamondbacks: CF A.J. Pollock (right groin strain) did some light running and throwing. Lovullo said the next step for Pollock is batting practice. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, but Lovullo said he’s uncertain Pollock will be ready by then.


Lovullo said right-hander Randall Delgado will come out of the bullpen to make a spot start in the series finale Wednesday. He takes the rotation slot normally occupied by Taijuan Walker, placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with a blister on his right index finger. Delgado last started a game in 2015. He is 1-0 with a 4.05 ERA in 15 appearances this season.


The Diamondbacks, looking to bolster attendance during the scorching summer months, announced that fans can get tickets to every game in June and July for $50. With 25 games, that’s $2 per game.


White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (0-3, 8.28 ERA) seeks his first win of the season Tuesday night in his eighth start. LHP Patrick Corbin (3-4, 4.38) goes for the Diamondbacks in the second game of the interleague series.


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

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