Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Washington. The Dodgers won 5-0. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon
July 23, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) Zack Greinke's shutout streak is on hold while the Los Angeles Dodgers ace and his wife await the birth of their first child.

Greinke has pitched 43 2/3 scoreless innings, and was set to start Friday night against the New York Mets at Citi Field. He is approaching the big league record of 59 straight scoreless innings set by Orel Hershiser in 1988 for the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before Thursday night's game against the Mets that Greinke had returned to Los Angeles early in the morning to join wife Emily.

Mattingly received a call in his hotel room at 5 a.m. from Greinke, who caught a flight a couple of hours later.

''To get back to pitch tomorrow would be, I'd say unrealistic, but we do feel like there's a good chance he'd pitch this weekend,'' Mattingly said before the game.

Mattingly said after the game left-handed reliever Ian Thomas (0-1) would take Greinke's start Friday.

The Mets look like a good matchup for a pitcher chasing a scoreless innings streak record. New York had scored the second-fewest runs in baseball and had the lowest team batting average entering Thursday night's game against Clayton Kershaw, who pitched a three-hitter in a 3-0 win.

The Dodgers can fill Greinke's roster spot Friday if necessary and put him on three days' paternity leave.

The team is off Monday and returns to Los Angeles for a series against Oakland that starts Tuesday.

Greinke leads the majors with a 1.30 ERA. He is 9-2 in 19 starts for the NL West leaders.

Mattingly said he has not noticed a drastic difference in how Greinke has pitched this season compared to the right-hander's last two with the Dodgers.

''Since we've had him, he's been really, really good,'' Mattingly said. ''This year's just been a little more exceptional than the years before. The only true difference in mind is that he started right out of spring training.''

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