Kenta Maeda bounced back from a disappointing start and the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled ahead early to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-0, again extending their lead in the National League West to season-high-tying 18 games.
Maeda began his start by keeping the ball in the infield for eight of the first nine outs. His perfect game was lost on Jarrod Dyson’s leadoff single in the fourth inning, though he was erased when the Dodgers successfully challenged a safe call on his stolen base attempt.
That loomed large as Ketel Marte singled, stole second base and advanced another 90 feet on a wild pitch. However, he was stranded as Maeda froze David Peralta with a fastball to the outside corner.
Maeda finished with six strikeouts and limited the Diamondbacks to just three hits over seven shutout innings. The outing was his longest since going 7.2 innings against the San Diego Padres on July 6, and Maeda earned his first win since May 31.
He went 0-6 with a 5.26 ERA in his last 12 games (11 starts) heading into Saturday.
The Dodgers provided Maeda with early run support, beginning with Max Muncy’s towering home run to center field in the second inning. The 429-foot blast was Muncy’s 28th homer this season, but only the sixth hit by a left-hander in 50 plate appearances against Diamondbacks rookie starter Alex Young.
Russell Martin’s leadoff double in the third eventually led to a run as Kristopher Negrón followed an intentional walk of Justin Turner with a two-out RBI single. Martin then provided more offense by pulling an RBI single down the third-base line in the fourth.
Dating back to his two-run, walk-off single against the St. Louis Cardinals, Martin was 3-for-3 with three RBI in his last three at-bats.
Maeda’s safety squeeze extended the Dodgers’ lead to 4-0, where it remained despite runners reaching in the sixth and seventh innings.
Although it was a non-save situation, Kenley Jansen was summoned to pitch the ninth inning. He rebounded from a fifth blown save this season finish the game with only a one-out single allowed.