The Dodgers secured the series win against the Giants on Sunday night with a 3-1 win at Dodger Stadium. Joc Pederson‘s second home run of the season and Kenta Maeda‘s third quality start in as many games helped give the Dodgers their eighth win of the season.
Maeda fought his control in the first few innings falling behind to batters, and he did not have his curveball working early on. Perhaps it was because it was his first time working with Yasmani Grandal, or maybe it was the challenge of a very tough San Francisco lineup.
Joe Panik‘s two-out solo home run in the top of the third inning snapped Maeda’s scoreless streak at 14 2/3 innings.
Maeda settled in and was able to locate his breaking ball by mid-game. It’s a joy to watch him mix his pitches and change velocity to keep hitters off balance. He even showed off his defensive skills which won him the Mitsui Gold Glove five times in Japan by fielding a sacrifice bunt attempt by Samardzija and initiating an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the seventh.
Maeda’s line for the night through seven innings and 98 pitches: 1 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 7 K, 59 strikes.
The Dodgers offense finally woke up when Pederson took a Samardzija fastball for a ride to right field for a two-run home run in the fifth, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Perhaps all the chatter about sending Joc down to Triple-A will simmer down now.
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The Dodgers added an insurance run in the seventh. Yasiel Puig, who had struck out twice against Samardzija, singled and stole second. Puig unleashed his Wild Horse and scored on Grandal’s second hit of the night, a single, to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
It was one of those games where everything worked out as planned, and there was very little to complain about.
The Dodgers improve to 8-5 on the season. After the Dodgers enjoy an off day on Monday, they will play 13 consecutive games beginning on the road. Alex Wood is expected to start in the series opener in Atlanta on Tuesday vs. the Braves (starting pitcher to be determined). First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. Pacific time.