The Japanese right-hander finally gave up a run Sunday -- but only
one. He outpitched San Francisco right-hander Jeff Samardzija as the
Dodgers won 3-1, taking two of three from the Giants at Dodger
Stadium this weekend.
"He's a four-pitch pitcher with a good feel and above-average
command. That's why the guy is here," Giants manager Bruce Bochy
said. "He threw well. He did. He's got four pitches. He mixes it up
very well. He kept us at bay."
Maeda gave up a solo home run to Giants second baseman Joe Panik
with two outs in the third inning. It was the first run Maeda had
allowed in his first three starts for the Dodgers, snapping a 14 2/3
scoreless innings streak to start his major league career.
Overall, he is off to a 2-0 start with one run allowed in 19 innings
(a 0.47 ERA).
"I'm happy with the way things are turning out," Maeda said through
his interpreter. "It's only been three starts. There's a long way to
go. But I'm happy so far."
Maeda wasn't very happy early in the game Sunday. His body language
betrayed some frustration with home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez's
strike zone and he had to pick his way through the first four
innings Sunday, allowing three hits and walking three in that time.
But the Giants stranded four and hit into one double play in that
"We actually had some good, long at-bats early, thought we'd make
him show us all his pitches," Bochy said. "But he got into a good
Indeed, he did. Maeda retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced
(four by strikeout) including a nice play to start a rally-thwarting
double play on a bunt attempt in the top of the seventh. It was the
first time Maeda went seven innings in his three starts this season.
"I was able to make some adjustments," Maeda said. "Just being able
to execute my pitches, being able to throw strikes more."
For a while, though, it looked like he would lose a pitchers' duel
with Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija.
Samardzija did his best work early, retiring nine of the first 10
batters he faced while not allowing a runner past first base until
the fifth inning. That's when Yasmani Grandal worked him for a
one-out walk and scored two batters later when Joc Pederson turned
on a 2-and-2 fastball Samardzija left over the inner half of the
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"I'm sure he'd like to have one pitch back," Bochy said. "He had him
(Pederson) with two strikes and just yanked it. I'm sure he'd like
to have that one pitch back."
The home run put the Dodgers on top. They stole an insurance run in
the seventh inning when Yasiel Puig charged home from second base on
Grandal's infield single against the Giants' defensive shift.
That was enough cushion for a Dodgers' bullpen that has regained its
footing since a miserable series in San Francisco last weekend.
Chris Hatcher and Kenley Jansen combined to close it out over the
final two innings Sunday. Dodgers relievers have not been charged
with a run in their past 14 innings now.
NOTES: Giants third-base coach Roberto Kelly was hit in the head by
an errant throw as the Dodgers infield warmed up for the seventh
inning. Kelly was still in the dugout at the time and was wearing
his helmet. But Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Kelly was feeling
dizzy so he went to the clubhouse to be evaluated by the training
staff. Assistant hitting coach Steve Decker replaced Kelly at third
base for the final three innings. ... The Giants placed RHP Sergio
Romo on the disabled list with a strained flexor tendon in his
pitching elbow on Friday. Romo, 33, will not do any throwing for at
least 10 days. At that point, he will be re-evaluated. ... Dodgers
OF Carl Crawford (back) will travel to Atlanta with the Dodgers on
Monday then go to Oklahoma City from there to start a minor league
injury-rehabilitation assignment with the Triple-A OKC Dodgers on
Wednesday. He is expected to be back with the Dodgers next Sunday in
Colorado when he is eligible to come off the DL. ... Dodgers manager
Dave Roberts said the Dodgers will use the off day Monday to give
all of their starting pitchers an extra day's rest rather than
skipping anyone in the rotation. The Dodgers have games on 13
consecutive days before their next off day.
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