The San Diego Padres took a 1-0 lead before Kenta Maeda could record an out, but he eventually settled in and the Los Angeles Dodgers came away with a 4-2 victory. The win was their seventh in the past 10 games and trimmed the Arizona Diamondbacks’ lead in the National League West to a half-game.
After allowing a single and double to open the bottom of the first inning, Maeda retired the next three batters faced, including Eric Hosmer and Travis Jankowski by strikeout. That seemingly set the tone for the right-hander.
Maeda struck out Freddy Galvis and Christian Villanueva to start the second, and after allowing a double to Austin Hedges, caught opposing starter Joey Lucchesi looking to end the inning. Maeda finished with nine strikeouts over 5.2 innings of one-run ball.
It marked a fourth consecutive start in which he recorded nine strikeouts. Maeda has allowed just four earned runs over that stretch, to go along with a 36 to six strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Maeda’s effort was backed by Scott Alexander needing all of one pitch to retire Hosmer and strand the tying runner in the sixth. Daniel Hudson surrendered a two-out solo home run to Villanueva in the seventh, though Dylan Floro and Kenley Jansen each threw a scoreless inning to wrap up the win.
While Maeda was stifling the Padres, the Dodgers received some help in what amounted to a three-run third inning. Matt Kemp added to his success with runners in scoring position by pulling a two-out, game-tying single into left field.
After Max Muncy’s base hit put runners at the corners, Logan Forsythe’s grounder up the middle went for an infield RBI single that gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Lucchesi’s wild pitch then proved costly as Galvis threw low to first base, allowing Forsythe to score.
Chris Taylor cashed in Chase Utley’s two-out, pinch-hit double with an RBI single in the eighth inning, providing an insurance run for Floro and Jansen to work with. It loomed particularly large for Jansen as he issued a leadoff walk in the ninth.
Wil Myers had his string of games with at least one home run snapped at four.
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