Why Zack Greinke isn’t worried about allowing two home runs in a Single-A game.

Zack Greinke mugGLENDALE, Ariz. — Zack Greinke had his share of ups and downs Wednesday.

That was the point, really. Greinke needed to stretch his arm up to regular-season standards and he did, throwing 85 pitches over seven innings of a Single-A intrasquad game. The right-hander allowed five hits, including two home runs, walked none and struck out nine.

The downs: The two home runs, hit by Spencer Navin and local product Ivan Vela.

The ups?

“A slight mechanical change” that Greinke made on his final pitch of the fifth inning.

Greinke allowed the home run to Vela and two well-struck fly ball outs to begin the inning. Then, making the change, he threw a fastball and got a ground-ball out.

As Greinke recalled, “I said, ‘I’ve got to try something else because this is bad’ and the pitch came out perfect. I might have finally started doing something right.”

Yasmani Grandal, who was catching Greinke for the third time in a game, said he noticed the change too. So did Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.

“At the very same time Honeycutt was coming to tell me what I needed to change and it was exactly what was just changed,” Greinke said. “Hopefully it’s a good change. We’ll see.”

Greinke is slated to start the Dodgers’ second game of the season, Tuesday against the San Diego Padres.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.