Diamondbacks righty Zack Greinke won after scattering seven hits over seven scoreless innings against the Marlins on Thursday. He did not walk anybody and struck out six. Arizona spotted Greinke a two-run cushion before he took the mound and he never looked back, throwing 73 of his 103 pitches for strikes while pounding the zone against Miami's lackluster offense, which did not muster a single extra-base hit on Thursday. Greinke has displayed excellent control all season with just 19 walks in 103 innings (1.7 BB/9 rate) while averaging more than a strikeout per inning (9.4 K/9 rate). He's now won his last three outings -- all of which have been quality starts -- and five of his last six, improving to 8-5 with a 3.41 ERA. Greinke will look to keep rolling vs. the Cardinals at home on July 3.
Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw received a no-decision Thursday after allowing one run on four hits and no walks with six strikeouts in five innings vs. the Cubs. Kershaw's second start back from the DL went better than his first, which lasted just three frames against the Mets on June 23. While he was still on a limited pitch count, 47 of his 68 offerings went for strikes and he did not issue a walk for the first time since April 20. Thursday marked his fourth straight start of two earned runs or less, lowering his ERA to 2.84. All four of those outings have resulted in no-decisions, however, so he'll shoot for his first win since April 15 while continuing to ramp up his workload when he faces the Pirates at home on July 3.
Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu went 3-for-4 with a home run, five RBI and a walk against the Giants on Thursday. LeMahieu was the hero for Colorado from the leadoff spot, lifting the Rockies to a 9-8 victory with several timely hits. His two-run single in the top of the seventh broke a 5-5 tie before he went on to win the game with a go-ahead bomb in the top of the ninth. He's already matched his homer total from last year (eight) in 98 fewer games, putting him on pace to shatter his career high of 11 from 2016. The added power appears to have come at a slight cost, however, as he's hitting just .280 after topping .300 in each of the past three seasons. He's still a solid fantasy contributor, albeit no longer elite in one category.
Phillies righty Aaron Nola won after allowing one run on five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings vs. the Nationals on Thursday. Nola was in top form against Washington, yielding just a run in the second inning en route to his longest start since April 10. Nola threw 78 of his 114 pitches for strikes and yielded only one extra-base hit to earn his fourth consecutive decision, improving to 10-2 with a 2.48 ERA. after several promising but injury-shortened seasons, the 25-year-old has taken the leap to becoming an ace this year thanks to his strong ratios, which include a 3.5 K/BB ratio and a 0.5 HR/9 rate. He'll look to keep it up vs. the struggling Orioles at home on July 4.
Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer Thursday against the Reds. Aguilar put Milwaukee on the board with his third-inning blast, tying the game at 2-2 with his 19th homer of the year and his 10th in June. After showing promise as a rookie last year with 16 homers and an .837 OPS in 133 games, the 27-year-old has exploded this year to become one of baseball's premier hitters. He's slashing .313/.373/.645, giving him the top slugging percentage in the National League. While Aguilar will likely cool off in the second half, the skills he displayed last year suggest he's capable of finishing the year with elite numbers if he stays healthy.
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