Joc Pederson slugged a pair of home runs and Kenta Maeda spun a gem to help the Los Angeles Dodgers return the favor with a 5-0 shutout win against the Washington Nationals. The multi-home run game was Pederson’s 11th of his career.
He opened the scoring by crushing a full-count splitter from Anibal Sanchez halfway up the pavilion in right-center field. The leadoff home run was Pederson’s third this season and 14th all-time, which tied with Rafael Furcal for second in Dodgers franchise history.
Davey Lopes holds the mark with 28 career leadoff homers. While Pederson has a ways to catch Lopes, he could break the record he set last season with eight leadoff home runs.
The Dodgers added to their lead in the fourth inning on a hit-and-run that resulted with Chris Taylor’s blooper to shallow right field getting by Adam Eaton for a triple that scored Alex Verdugo from first base.
Pederson’s second home run of the night came in the fifth inning, and David Freese added a two-run shot in the seventh.
Maeda has been Jekyll and Hyde this season, which made his leadoff walk in the first inning a bit worrisome. However, he followed that by retiring six batters in a row. The string was snapped on Wilmer Difo’s leadoff base hit in the third, but nothing came of it.
That wound up being the lone hit Maeda allowed over six shutout innings. Gerardo Parra worked a two-out walk in the fourth inning, only to be stranded when Maeda struck out Kurt Suzuki. Maeda’s six strikeouts tied a season high that was initially set in his first start of 2019 and matched in his last outing against the San Diego Padres.
Julio Urias retired the side in order in the seventh inning but found himself in a jam in the eighth when a pair of singles and a hit batsman loaded the bases. Urias was bailed out by Max Muncy’s diving stop and force out at third base to end the the threat.
Urias returned in the ninth to complete the shutout and three-inning save.