Without the injured Mike Trout at the top of the lineup, the Angels got nothing going offensively Sunday and took a 2-0 loss to the Rays in Zack Greinke’s debut.
Greinke, who was acquired from the Brewers on Friday, was strong in striking out eight over seven innings, but Jeremy Hellickson was better, blanking the Angels on two hits over six innings. Kyle Farnsworth, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney — the last two former Angels — finished the Rays’ second shutout in two days.
The loss was Greinke’s first in a home start since July 31, 2010, when he was still a member of the Royals. He went 15-0 during his 23 starts at Miller Park as a member of the Brewers.
Greinke allowed both Rays runs after pitching scoreless ball for five innings. The Rays led off the sixth and seventh innings with doubles and scored one run each time. The second run came on a wild pitch.
Greinke has now gone six straight starts without a win. He’ll miss the four-game showdown in Texas this week and make his next start against the White Sox on Friday. That could work out for him; he had his best start of the year against the White Sox in interleague play, pitching nine scoreless innings back on June 22.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.