LOS ANGELES -- It took the Dodgers 159 games to reach 91 wins in 2016, but this year's Dodgers did it in Game No. 127, with Kenta Maeda leading a combined one-hitter in a 3-1 win over the Brewers on Friday night as Players Weekend opened at Dodger Stadium.The Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- It took the Dodgers 159 games to reach 91 wins in 2016, but this year's Dodgers did it in Game No. 127, with Kenta Maeda leading a combined one-hitter in a 3-1 win over the Brewers on Friday night as Players Weekend opened at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers own the best record in baseball at 91-36 and have a 20-game lead in the National League West. They are on pace to tie the Major League record with 116 wins. The Brewers are now 3 1/2 games behind the Cubs in the National League Central and four games back in the race for the second NL Wild Card spot.
Maeda, aka "Maeken" for Players Weekend, stifled the Brewers' lineup, giving up a season-low one hit -- a homer to Domingo Santana ("Showmingo") in the second -- through six innings. The righty also struck out seven, recording at least six K's in his fifth consecutive start.
"When he goes after guys," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, "His stuff and command is so good. When he trusts that, he consistently gets Major League hitters out."
Chase Anderson, aka "Texas," kept the Dodgers in check and took a 1-0 lead into the fourth, but John Forsythe, aka "Logie Bear," sent a 92-mph first-pitch fastball to left-center field for his first homer since July 6, tying the game. Then Yasmani Grandal, aka "YRG Jr.," gave the Dodgers their first lead when he sent a RBI single through the middle in the fifth. Those were the only runs Anderson allowed on six hits in his five innings.
"I thought I threw pretty decent, actually," said Anderson, who struck out six. "Obviously wanted to get deeper into the game. I feel like I only made one really bad pitch -- the one to Forsythe -- other than that, all the pitches were pretty quality."
Yasiel Puig, aka "Wild Horse," gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead with a homer off Jared Hughes in the sixth, giving the right fielder 23 on the season.
Tony Cingrani ("Grani"), Josh Ravin ("Cuervo") and Kenley Jansen ("Kenleyfornia") faced the minimum over the final three-innings to complete the one-hitter for the Dodgers, with the game ending when a Ryan Braun ("Ocho") infield single was overturned by review.
"Good pitching, their bullpen is one of the best in the game," Anderson said. "There's a reason why they're in first place by a big number in their division."
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Just swipe: After battling with Anderson and working a seven-pitch walk, Justin Turner, aka "Redturn2," did some work on the bases. With Grandal at the plate, the All-Star third baseman swiped second to move into scoring position, allowing him to score easily on Grandal's tiebreaking single up the middle.
"Those are little things," Roberts said. "To get a walk to steal a base and get that two-out hit from Yasmani, those are little things that tack on extra points."
Wild Horse delivers: With a slim 2-1 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth, the Dodgers needed some insurance. Puig gave it to them. Hughes battled with Puig for eight pitches, before Puig sent his ninth over the center-field wall to give the Dodgers a 3-1 advantage.
"That was kind of fun seeing all the nicknames, and what was it, 'Kenleyfornia', something like that? That was pretty good, too. It was good." -- Roberts, on Players Weekend
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"We're chasing teams. We're chasing some Wild Card teams. We're chasing the Cubs, and so you miss an opportunity. That's the way it goes. But you have to come back tomorrow and realize that if a couple teams lost, you didn't lose any ground, and so you have a chance to make up ground tomorrow." -- Craig Counsell, on his club's postseason push
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UPON FURTHER REVIEW
After Puig's homer in the sixth, Forsythe walked and stole second base. The Brewers challenged the safe call, but it would stand after review. Forsythe was stranded on third base when the inning ended.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
For the first time since at least 1913, the Dodgers have thrown three one-hitters in the same calendar month. Hyun-Jin Ryu went seven innings in a combined one-hitter against the Mets in an 8-0 win on Aug. 6, and Rich Hill took a no-hitter into the 10th inning vs. the Pirates on Wednesday before losing the game, 1-0, on Josh Harrison's walk-off homer.
Brewers:Zach Davies will try to continue his strong second half when he takes the mound against the Dodgers on Saturday. Davies, who will wear "Bat Boy" on his Players Weekend jersey, is 7-3 with a 2.65 ERA over his last 11 starts. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. CT.
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Dodgers:Thomas Stripling will make a spot-start Saturday in place of Alex Wood, who is on the disabled list with SC joint inflammation. This will be the first start of the season for Stripling, aka "Chicken Strip," as the Dodgers plan on a bullpen day at Dodger Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. PT.
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**Austin Laymance** is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Brewers on Friday.
Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.