PHOENIX -- Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda apparently escaped serious injury Tuesday night when he was drilled on the lower right leg by a Paul Goldschmidt line drive in sixth inning of the Dodgers' 7-4 win over the D-backs.
Maeda had to be helped off the field, but X-rays were negative and he was diagnosed with a bruise. Manager Dave Roberts said he expects Maeda to make his next start in five days. Maeda, who was limping in the clubhouse, wasn't ready to make that commitment.
"It's hard to tell at this point, but I will reevaluate [Wednesday]," Maeda said through his interpreter. "My hope is to make the next scheduled start. What I know for sure is it didn't hit the bone, but I wasn't able to put any strength or weight on it and I was kind of shocked. Among all the hits taken in the past, it hurt the most. "
Maeda was hit below the knee and just to the outside of the tibia, but Roberts said the blow pinched a nerve and Maeda's leg went numb. Maeda retrieved the ball, threw Goldschmidt out at first base, then collapsed in pain.
On his back and clutching his leg, Maeda was attended to and helped to his feet. Then batting coach Turner Ward and assistant trainer Nate Lucero, with Maeda's arms draped around their necks, carried the pitcher to the dugout.
Maeda was struck on the pitching hand by a first inning Michael Conforto line drive during a start in New York last month and completed five innings. Unlike the New York game, Maeda had to leave this one. He was the winning pitcher in both and is 6-4.
"I was able to win both games, so it's mysterious how things work out," he said.
The Dodgers have already been without staters Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson since the season opened and lost Alex Wood last month.
Roberts admitted that when Maeda went down, "I held my breath. He's been such a consistent pitcher for us, with all that's gone on this season with our pitchers, but fortunately he's OK."