The Associated PressLOS ANGELES (AP) — Everything is going all right for Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson this year.
Pederson homered twice, Kenta Maeda pitched one-hit ball over six innings and Los Angeles cruised past the Washington Nationals 5-0 Friday night.
Pederson hit his 14th career leadoff homer in the first inning, tying Rafael Furcal for second on the team’s career list. He struck again in the fifth, putting a ball in the back of Washington’s bullpen for his 12th of the season. Pederson has 11 career multihomer games and three this season.
All 12 of his home runs have come against right-handed pitching, tying the Brewers’ Christian Yelich for most against righties this season. And he is doing his damage with sporadic playing time as the Dodgers rotate their outfielders, other than Cody Bellinger, who plays daily.
“Rhythm and flow plays a huge role into being consistent,” said Pederson, a left-handed hitter who has just 17 at-bats and three hits against lefties this year. “It’s really good when you can get in there and get into game flow to ride out pitches.”
Maeda gave up just Wilmer Difo’s single to lead off the third as the Dodgers won for the 11th time in their last 12 home games. Maeda (4-2) struck out six and walked two.
“I had a good feeling on my pitches around the fifth and six innings in my outing [Sunday] at San Diego,” Maeda said through a translator. “The biggest difference was my slider. I had a good feeling on the break, and I was able to carry that over today.”
Julio Urias pitched three innings of scoreless relief for his second career save. It was Urias’ second save in two outings after he pitched a scoreless inning Monday, but the Dodgers prefer the swing man to get multiple innings whenever possible.
“He is strong in every facet of the word, physically, and more importantly mentally with the different roles that are presented to him,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Anibal Sanchez (0-6) allowed three runs and six hits in 4⅓ innings, including both of Pederson’s homers. He has not won a start since Sept. 23 and has not won on the road since Aug. 3.
“I need to continue to work,” Sanchez said. “At some point, everything is going to change for good.”
Ohtani goes 0 for 5 with 2 Ks
BALTIMORE (AP) — Mike Trout homered and drove in three runs, Andrelton Simmons had two RBIs and scored twice, and the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-3 Friday night.
The game was stopped by a driving rainstorm just prior to the start of the seventh inning and delayed for 1 hour 49 minutes.
In his fourth game since returning from elbow surgery, Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 5 and struck out twice.
The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year is off to a slow start at the plate. He’s 2 for 16 (.125) with seven strikeouts.