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Greinke ends regular season with loss

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Zack Greinke completed his first regular season for Los Angeles Dodgers with the kind of outing that has been pretty much routine since he came off the disabled list back in May.

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Greinke allowed a run and four hits through six innings Saturday night for the NL West champions in a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies, striking out seven without a walk.

The only run came on fourth-inning doubles by Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado.

Greinke (15-4) lost for the first time in eight decisions since July 25 and finished with a 2.63 ERA in 28 starts. He is scheduled to start Game 2 of the NL division series after Clayton Kershaw pitches the opener.

``He's given us that 1-2 punch,'' manager Don Mattingly said. ``He's given us two guys that, when they take the ball, you know you've got a pretty good chance of winning. It's been pretty much quality start after quality start. That's just confidence for our club. That's two guys we know are going to get pretty deep into the game.''

With Andre Ethier's status for the playoffs already in doubt because of shin splints, three other high-profile Dodgers outfielders also were missing from the lineup. Left fielder Carl Crawford got a rest and center fielder Matt Kemp was a late scratch because of left ankle soreness.

``I feel OK with it,'' Mattingly said. ``He took BP and was OK with all that. But when he started to get ready for the game, he had trouble getting loose.''

``We've been trying to give him as many at_bats as possible without taking it too far. Tonight, I feel, was just being cautious. I wouldn't think there'd be any reason to push him back out there tomorrow,'' he said.

Rookie Yasiel Puig, who fouled a pitch hard off his left shin and left Friday's game after five innings, pinch-hit in the seventh and struck out.

``He was begging to get out there tonight once Matt couldn't go,'' Mattingly said. ``But I felt like there was no reason for it, being that last second. We didn't know about Matt till five minutes before the game.''

Juan Nicasio (9-9) allowed three hits over 5 1-3 innings and struck out seven while winning for the first time since Aug. 26 against San Francisco. The last time the 27-year-old right-hander faced the Dodgers on July 12 in Los Angeles, he outpitched Kershaw with seven scoreless innings for the victory.

``Tough game,'' Greinke said. ``We played well, it's just that their pitcher pitched really well. He had a really good fastball that he located well.''

Colorado right fielder Michael Cuddyer spent the game on the bench with his .333 average while Atlanta's Chris Johnson went 0 for 4 against Philadelphia and slipped to .321 - effectively locking up Cuddyer's first batting title in 13 big league seasons with one game remaining.

``It means a lot,'' Cuddyer said. ``It takes a lot of hard work, sticking to routines and things of that nature - and a lot of luck along the way, too. I'm not too proud to admit that to do something like that, you've got to get lucky.

``I went into the season a career .271 hitter. So to be in a position like this, I never would have thunk it,'' he said. ``I never thought that when the season ends, I'd be on top. I've never been in that position before, so I was never assuming that I was going to be there.''

Adam Octavio followed Josh Outman out of the bullpen in the sixth, retiring Juan Uribe on a foul pop and Scott Van Slyke on a fly ball with the bases loaded. Rex Brothers, the sixth Rockies pitcher, got four outs for his 18th save in 20 chances.

NOTES: Tommy Lasorda, who turned 86 on Sept. 22, appeared on both video boards doing a prerecorded standup reprise of the Frank Sinatra classic ``My Way'' - which he sang from start to finish just before the lineups were announced. ... Greinke is averaging 1.86 walks per nine innings in his last 16 starts, after tying a career-worst with seven bases on balls at Colorado on July 3. He finished with 19 hits, the most by a Dodgers pitcher since 1993, when Orel Hershiser was 26 for 73.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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