Zack Greinke's ERA is among the lowest in the majors, though it hasn't helped his record all that much thanks in large part to a lack of run support.
Greinke seeks his first home win in nearly two months Thursday night while trying to prevent the Los Angeles Dodgers from being swept in this four-game home-and-home series with the Texas Rangers.
Greinke (5-2, 1.95 ERA) was incredible through his first six starts, winning all five decisions with a 1.56 ERA. The right-hander was also getting more than enough help with an average of 6.02 runs of support.
The offense isn't coming close to matching that pace recently, managing just two runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts. That's precisely why Greinke is 0-2 over that stretch despite a 2.28 ERA. He's received six runs in his last five home games, compiling a 1.35 ERA with an 0-1 record to show for it since beating San Francisco on April 29.
"The first six years of my career was worse than that," Greinke told MLB's official website. "You just do what you can do."
Greinke did all he could Saturday, tossing an eight-hitter while the Dodgers (37-29) could only produce five of their own in a 2-1 loss at San Diego.
He's 3-5 with a 2.84 ERA in 14 career games - 12 starts - against the Rangers, but he last faced them with the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 30, 2012.
The Dodgers aren't giving Greinke much confidence, going 2 for 21 with runners in scoring position and totaling six runs through three games in this series - the first two of which came in Arlington. Los Angeles went 2 for 12 in that situation during Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Rangers (36-30).
Texas, meanwhile, is averaging 5.2 runs and is an AL-best 20-7 since May 20.
Prince Fielder, though, is just 7 for 27 (.259) in the past eight games, but he had a solo shot and a double Wednesday. It was the fifth time in his career that Fielder homered after getting the green light on 3-0.
"I think I have (the green light) pretty much anytime I want," he said.
He now has 299 career homers and his next will make him and Cecil Fielder (319) only the second father-son tandem with at least 300 apiece, joining Bobby and Barry Bonds.
Fielder, though, is 0 for 4 with two walks versus Greinke.
Joey Gallo is displaying some impressive power with each of his last three hits leaving the yard over the past five games. The rookie had a two-run shot Wednesday for his first on the road.
The Rangers will recall Anthony Ranaudo from Triple-A Round Rock and give him a spot start after pushing Colby Lewis' scheduled start back to Friday at the Chicago White Sox.
"We wanted to give them extra rest," manager Jeff Banister said. "More than anything else, where we were and the number of innings, giving them an extra day of rest will be beneficial to all of them."
Ranaudo is 7-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 starts in the minors this year, but the right-hander wasn't effective in his only appearance for Texas on April 15. He was hammered for six runs and as many hits before being pulled with two outs in the second inning of a 10-2 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels. He was demoted hours later.