In the Opening Day game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers squandered another lead in a 4-2 loss. Offseason acquisition Kenta Maeda took the mound for the second time this season, making his Dodger Stadium debut.
The 28 year old turned in strong outing for the Dodgers, putting together his second consecutive quality start. Over six shutout innings, Maeda allowed five hits and recorded four strikeouts to zero walks.
The Japanese native joined an exclusive list when it comes to Dodgers franchise history, as Maeda ranks fourth with 12 scoreless innings to begin his career. Sitting atop the list is Dave Stewart, who accumulated 18.1 scoreless innings at the outset of his career in 1978.
Maeda wasn’t nearly as sharp on Tuesday as he was in his Major League debut and said he’s hoping to be more efficient in future starts, according to via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“Compared to my last outing, I thought I had less command of my pitches and I threw more pitches in general. So as a result, I ended up throwing only six innings. Hopefully next time, I’ll be able to stretch it out and throw a couple more innings with fewer pitches.”
Maeda threw 95 pitches in six innings on Tuesday, which is 11 more than his April 6 start. He did receive some help from his defense, particularly in the sixth inning. Yasiel Puig tracked down a double in the right field corner, hit Justin Turner, who then relayed the ball to A.J. Ellis to cutdown Welington Castillo on his attempt to score.
Next for Maeda is a scheduled start on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants in the four-game series finale. Jeff Samardzija is slated to take the mound for San Francisco.