The Associated PressLOS ANGELES (AP) — Kenta Maeda dominated on the mound and helped himself at the plate.
The right-hander struck out 12 batters and drove in both runs in leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres 2-0 on Wednesday night.
“It’s hard to imagine him being any better,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It was really, really fun to watch. He was great all night long.”
Los Angeles wrapped up a 7-2 homestand, with four of the wins being shutouts.
Maeda gave up three hits over 6⅔ innings and reached double-digit strikeouts for the fifth time in MLB. He finished one short of his career high for Ks set in 2016 against San Diego.
“I was able to mix everything up tonight,” Maeda said through an interpreter. “I did have the conviction and attacked the strike zone while keeping my pitch count to a minimum.”
Maeda (5-2) had the key hit of the game, too, with a two-out, two-run bloop single to right field in the second. He became the first Dodgers pitcher to have two hits and two RBIs in a game since Zack Greinke in 2014.
Kenley Jansen worked the ninth for his 14th save, aided by a diving play up the middle from second baseman Kike Hernandez. With two runners aboard, Jansen struck out Hunter Renfroe and pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson to end it.
Jansen retired Renfroe for the second consecutive night after the slugger tagged him for a game-winning grand slam May 5 in San Diego.
Four Dodgers pitchers combined for a season-high 16 strikeouts. Maeda threw 85 pitches, 64 for strikes. His 22 swinging strikes were the second-most in his career according to Inside Edge, with 14 coming on his slider.
Matt Strahm (1-3) went five innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. The left-hander, who has a 2.33 ERA in five road starts, struck out five.
“Matt gave us an opportunity to win. He mixed well and could have easily had zero runs through five,” Padres manager Andy Green said.
Twins outlast Angels
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — This strong start by the first-place Minnesota Twins has been fueled by an ample supply of power.
Byron Buxton and Jason Castro each hit two-run homers, just the cushion that was needed to withstand a late surge by the Los Angeles Angels.
“Just put good swings on the ball,” Buxton said, “and the ball will do what it does.”
Twins reliever Mike Morin hit former teammate Mike Trout with a bases-loaded pitch that forced in a run in the ninth inning before retiring Shohei Ohtani to end the game on a groundout and preserve an 8-7 victory over the Angels on Wednesday.
“I thought we were going to sneak away with it,” Angels starter Trevor Cahill said, “but give the Twins credit. They stopped us at the end.”
Meanwhile, Ohtani and his two-way skills have some company in the clubhouse. The Angels promoted first baseman Jared Walsh from Triple-A Salt Lake, filling the roster spot vacated by Justin Bour’s demotion, and Walsh marked his major league debut with three singles.