LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' season turnaround was interrupted on Tuesday night when starting pitcher Kenta Maeda was removed with a right hip strain in the second inning of a 6-1 loss to the Phillies.After the worst start to a season in Los Angeles history, the surging Dodgers came into
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' season turnaround was interrupted on Tuesday night when starting pitcher Kenta Maeda was removed with a right hip strain in the second inning of a 6-1 loss to the Phillies.
After the worst start to a season in Los Angeles history, the surging Dodgers came into this game buoyed by wins in nine of the previous 11 games and the imminent return of Clayton Kershaw, one of three starting pitchers already on the disabled list, who will start on Thursday.
But Kershaw's addition will be blunted by the likely subtraction of Maeda (4-4), who was coming off back-to-back stellar starts after six weeks of inconsistency. He will have an MRI on Wednesday.
"It's unexpected. Murphy's Law type of thing," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who said he anticipates Maeda being placed on the disabled list. "But our guys are resilient. We keep finding ways to win and battle."
On the heels of Brock Stewart's four-inning spot start on Monday night, the Dodgers' bullpen had to pick up 7 1/3 innings from Maeda on Tuesday night. That's 12 1/3 bullpen innings in two days, a toll that could be felt for days to come, especially with a weekend series at Coors Field against the first-place Rockies.
"I thought our 'pen did a good job trying to eat up 23 outs," said Roberts. "It's not ideal. It was really stressed today."
Roberts said he expects to recall one or two relievers from the Minor Leagues before Wednesday night's game. JT Chargois, Adam Liberatore and Pat Venditte are among the likely candidates.
This game was decided in a disastrous second inning for the Dodgers. Nick Williams led off with a homer on an 0-2 pitch. Maeda allowed a one-out double to Jorge Alfaro and was removed after two trips to the mound by the trainer, despite striking out opposing pitcher Jacob Arrieta.
Scott Alexander relieved and walked the first batter he faced, Cesar Hernandez. The second batter, Maikel Franco, hit a dribbler to second base, but second baseman John Forsythe was shifted out of position and it went for a single. With no shift, Odubel Herrera pulled a single through the right side to score Hernandez and Alfaro.
Philadelphia added a run in the sixth with back-to-back doubles by Scott Kingery and Alfaro off Pedro Baez and two more in the ninth off Daniel Hudson.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers' offense was throttled by Arrieta (5-2) , who fired a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium three years ago and scattered six singles in seven scoreless innings this time. As soon as Arrieta left, the Dodgers scored. Player Page for Max Muncy led off the bottom of the eighth against Hector Neris with a double and was singled home by Justin Turner.
The Dodgers had other chances, putting the leadoff batter on base in five innings, but finished 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight.
"We had some traffic, but couldn't put anything together," Roberts said.
"It was apparent that they were kind of selling out for the heater," Arrieta said of the Dodgers' hitters. "Some pretty good swings on some heaters early in the count, fastball counts, so I mixed in some curveballs, some changeups. And even though they weren't necessarily as effective as I would have liked, they still got them off balance slightly."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cody Bellinger's slump continued and he came up twice with chances to make an impact. After Turner's infield single led off the fourth inning, Bellinger bounced back to Arrieta, who turned it into a double play. Matt Kemp and Chris Taylor followed with singles. In the eighth, after Muncy doubled and Turner singled, Bellinger struck out and Matt Kemp followed with a single. Bellinger is 3-for-41 (.073) over his last 12 games.
Turner went 2-for-4 with an RBI. In his last 11 games against the Phillies, he is 17-for-37 (.459) with four homers and 12 RBIs.
HE SAID IT
"The fact that most of the starting pitchers are hurt, it's something you don't want to happen, and I don't want to be part of that, but we'll see." -- Maeda
On Wednesday, Thomas Stripling faces off with Zach Eflin and the Phillies in a 7:10 p.m. PT start at Dodger Stadium. In his last four starts, Stripling has allowed three earned runs in 22 innings with 31 strikeouts and two walks. Eflin was briefly a Dodger, coming over from San Diego in the Yasmani Grandal trade, but was flipped the next day to the Phillies in the Jimmy Rollins trade.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.