LOS ANGELES -- Following masterpieces by teammates Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda checked in with one of his own, striking out 10 over five scoreless innings as the Dodgers beat the Giants, 5-0, for their first win of the year.Maeda was removed after 90 pitches and was praised
LOS ANGELES -- Following masterpieces by teammates Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda checked in with one of his own, striking out 10 over five scoreless innings as the Dodgers beat the Giants, 5-0, for their first win of the year.
Maeda was removed after 90 pitches and was praised by manager Dave Roberts for attacking hitters the way he did during a stellar postseason stint coming out of the bullpen. Maeda, 4-1 against the Giants, had double figures in strikeouts for the second time in his Major League career.
"He was just on the attack," said Roberts. "His fastball velocity, touching 94 several times, was really good, to all quadrants. His change was good tonight. Obviously, the slider kept guys off-balance and he really was in control all night long."
Maeda walked one and allowed five hits, as the Giants put runners on base in the first four innings against him. But he ended each inning with a strikeout and the Giants finished the game 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, stranding 10.
"When he's touching 94, there's some punch in there," Roberts said. "Credit to him to get after it and be aggressive with the fastball in the strike zone. Will you get that every time out? Probably not, but it was good tonight."
Roberts also praised the bullpen, headed by long reliever Thomas Stripling, who followed Maeda with two scoreless innings. Pedro Baez and Scott Alexander finished up, the latter issuing back-to-back walks with the five-run lead before inducing a game-ending double-play bouncer from Joe Panik, who beat the Dodgers the previous two nights with home runs off Kershaw and closer Kenley Jansen and had two hits in this game.
Along with the traffic on base, Maeda gave the Dodgers a scare when he grabbed at his lower back during fifth-inning warmups. One batter in, Roberts sent the athletic trainer out to check on Maeda, who remained in the game and finished off the inning before being removed.
"We talked after the game and he said he was fine," Roberts said.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.