Zack Greinke again found himself in the midst of a bench-clearing brawl in his last outing. This time, he came away unharmed and ready to make his next start for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The right-hander looks for a third consecutive strong outing Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
Greinke (3-1, 3.68 ERA) was hit by a pitch from Arizona's Ian Kennedy in the seventh inning of Los Angeles' 5-3 win Tuesday. That incited the nastier of the game's two bench-clearing incidents. Greinke plunked the Diamondbacks' Miguel Montero in the top of the inning, a likely response for Kennedy hitting Dodgers star rookie Yasiel Puig earlier in the contest.
The second incident resulted in eight suspensions and a fine for Greinke, who watched from the perimeter as the pushing, shoving and punching took place. He likely knew better after spending more than a month on the disabled list after breaking his collarbone in a brawl with San Diego's Carlos Quentin, who charged the mound after being hit with a pitch by Greinke on April 11.
The veteran pitcher was cautious when discussing the ramifications of this incident and his role in another on-field brawl.
"Every answer I have can be put in a way to make things wrong, you know?" Greinke told the Dodgers' official website.
His focus should be on the mound, where he's allowed two runs and six hits over 14 innings to go 1-0 in his last two starts. He went 0-1 with an 8.78 ERA in the previous three. Greinke allowed a two-run homer to Jason Kubel and one other hit over seven innings against Arizona.
Greinke is 5-1 in seven starts versus Pittsburgh (40-28) despite a 4.85 ERA. He beat the Pirates on April 5 with a dominant effort, allowing two hits without a walk in 6 1-3 innings of a 3-0 victory.
Los Angeles (29-38) had lost five of six before beating Pittsburgh 5-3 in 11 innings on Saturday. The Dodgers blew a one-run lead on Travis Snider's homer off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning, but Juan Uribe delivered an RBI single in the 11th.
"Right now, every win is good," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's what we've been kind of talking about, staying afloat and treading water until we can put together some semblance of a winning streak."
Andre Ethier scored the winner and had three hits with an RBI. He's 7 for 16 in his last four games to raise his average from a season-low .229 to .244. He's batting .360 in his last six at PNC Park.
The Dodgers have won four of five this season against the Pirates, who are 6-8 since winning 16 of 20.
Pittsburgh shortstop Jordy Mercer had two hits Saturday and is 7 for 17 in the last four games.
Gerrit Cole (1-0, 2.84) returns to the mound after a strong major league debut Tuesday, when he allowed two runs and overcame seven hits in 6 1-3 innings of an 8-2 victory over San Francisco.
The 2011 overall No. 1 pick also had a two-run single in his first career at-bat.
"There was no deer-in-the-headlight look from him at all," Pirates second baseman Neil Walker said of the Southern California native. "He worked quick, he worked efficiently, he threw strikes and that is all good things for a defense.
"He's a lot more polished than a lot of guys who have gotten their start in the big leagues."