PITTSBURGH (AP) — Arizona manager Torey Lovullo had quite the dilemma when the game was stopped by rain for the second time in the middle of the fourth inning.
When the showers subsided, Lovullo gave the ball back to Zack Greinke, and the ace right-hander delivered.
Greinke pitched six scoreless innings, Paul Goldschmidt homered and the Diamondbacks beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 on Saturday for their third consecutive win.
“We were having debates in here whether we should send Zack out or not,” Lovullo said. “He said he felt great and he wanted to keep pitching. Just felt like we had to do the right thing and take him off the mound, but he saved us today. He did a great job.”
David Peralta had two hits and two RBIs for NL West-leading Arizona. Goldschmidt also walked twice and scored three times.
Greinke (7-5) allowed two hits, struck out seven and walked none. He also doubled and scored on Jon Jay’s double in the fourth.
The Pirates hit just four balls out of the infield against Greinke, who had never before stayed in through two rain delays. They combined to halt play for 1 hour, 21 minutes.
“Didn’t really know how to respond,” he said. “Told Torey if it feels terrible, I’d let them know. It wasn’t too bad.”
Greinke’s extra-slow curveball was especially effective. Sitting around 69 mph at a big separation from his 89 mph fastball, it accounted for four of his strikeouts.
“It’s obviously a weapon that slows the hitters down because it’s such a slow pitch,” Arizona catcher Jeff Mathis said. “He has a good feel for it too. He’s always looking for an opportunity to drop it in there.”
Arizona grabbed control with five runs in the first four innings against Joe Musgrove (2-3).
Goldschmidt walked and scored on Peralta’s triple in the first. Peralta then scored when Sean Rodriguez’s relay throw landed in the Pirates’ dugout.
The duo combined for another run in the third when Goldschmidt walked again and scored on Peralta’s double. Chris Owings singled in Jake Lamb to make it 4-0.
“If I can’t control the inner half to the lefties, it’s a tough day for me to get them out,” Musgrove said. “It showed today.”
Goldschmidt hit his 17th homer in the seventh, and Lamb added an RBI single in the ninth.
Musgrove’s day ended with the second rain stoppage. He allowed seven hits, struck out two and walked three.
Rodriguez went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in addition to his error on his bobblehead day. He is hitting .149 on the season.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (strained right oblique) will make his third rehab start on Monday.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli, already on the seven-day disabled list, has been diagnosed with a concussion. There is no timeframe for his return. … LF Corey Dickerson returned from the Family Medical Emergency Leave List and started. INF/OF Adam Frazier was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Diamondbacks: RHP Clay Buchholz (1-1, 2.94 ERA) is expected to start the series finale on Sunday. In three starts on the road, he has a 2.12 ERA and is holding opponents to a .180 batting average.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (6-4, 4.00 ERA) is coming off one of his best outings of the season, when he struck out seven over seven one-hit innings Monday against Milwaukee.