(SportsNetwork.com) - Zack Greinke aims to become just baseball's second nine-game winner this season as the Los Angeles Dodgers wrap a four-game series on Sunday afternoon with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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Greinke carried a Major League-record string of 22 straight starts without allowing more than two earned runs into his last outing on Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds. Though that streak was halted, Greinke still won his third decision in a row thanks to a positive 6-3 outcome.
The right-hander was charged with three runs on eight hits over 7 2/3 innings, matching a season high with 11 strikeouts while not issuing a walk.
It marked the first time Greinke allowed more than two earned runs in a start since July 25, but he still improved to 8-1 with a 2.18 earned run average. He is tied with St. Louis' Adam Wainwright for the most victories in the NL this season and one back of Toronto's Mark Buehrle for the most in baseball.
Greinke, 30, is 5-2 with a 5.29 ERA lifetime against the Pirates, who counter with Edinson Volquez.
Volquez is 2-3 with a 2.86 ERA in seven previous meetings with the Dodgers and spent a brief stint with the club last season. Acquired from the San Diego Padres midseason, the righty went 0-2 with a 4.18 ERA in six games (5 starts) with Los Angeles.
Volquez picked up his second win of the season with a solid outing on May 22 versus Washington, but struggled with his command on Tuesday against the New York Mets in a no-decision. The 30-year-old yielded four hits and a walked a season-high five batters over five innings, but did limit the damage to just two runs.
"It was a challenge for (Volquez) but he kept us in the game," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said of his starter.
Volquez is 2-4 on the year with a 4.30 ERA and will try to cool off the Dodgers' bats.
Los Angeles saw its offense erupt on Saturday for a 12-2 win, thanks in large part to Hanley Ramirez. He went 4-for-4 at the plate and hit a pair of homers while matching career highs with five RBI and four runs scored.
"Hanley has found something and I hope it continues. Everything fell our way today," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
Matt Kemp, Justin Turner and Drew Butera each drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who snapped a three-game losing skid.
After flirting with a no-hitter in his last start, Hyun-Jin Ryu yielded two runs on 10 hits over six solid innings to earn the win.
In the worst outing of his young career, Brandon Cumpton was tagged for 11 runs -- 10 earned -- on 11 hits and two walks over just 3 2/3 innings.
"His (Cumpton) fastball command wasn't what we've seen from him in the past. It was a bad day for him," said Hurdle.
Jose Tabata collected three hits and Jordy Mercer had an RBI for Pittsburgh, which had snapped a nine-game slide in Los Angeles by winning the first two games of this series.