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Maeda pleased with first start since illness

MLB.com @kengurnick

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Kenta Maeda on Sunday became the first Dodgers pitcher to start after being stricken with the suspected norovirus, allowing one run in 2 1/3 innings against the Giants.

"I felt like I recovered pretty well, and I pitched well today," said Maeda, who missed a bullpen session but not a start. "I was a little worried going into the game, but as I pitched, the worries were gone and I felt good."

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Kenta Maeda on Sunday became the first Dodgers pitcher to start after being stricken with the suspected norovirus, allowing one run in 2 1/3 innings against the Giants.

"I felt like I recovered pretty well, and I pitched well today," said Maeda, who missed a bullpen session but not a start. "I was a little worried going into the game, but as I pitched, the worries were gone and I felt good."

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Maeda allowed a home run to Steven Duggar, but also struck out three. While trying to carry over the mental approach from his successful relief role last postseason into his return as a starter, Maeda said he no longer feels like a Japanese pitcher learning the Major League way as he enters his third season.

"A lot of the adjustments have been done," said Maeda. "I've forgotten about the routine I used to have in Japan."

Several Dodgers players who were stricken by illness last week returned to the lineup on Sunday. Cody Bellinger was 1-for-3 and scored a run, Chase Utley went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, Logan Forsythe was 2-for-3 starting at third base and Austin Barnes was 1-for-2 with a walk as designated hitter.

Video: LAD@SF: Puig rips an RBI double to right-center

#Puigyourleader
Look who's batting .400 this spring. It's Yasiel Puig, after going 2-for-3 with an RBI double against the Giants, whom the Dodgers will see 11 times in the first 27 regular-season games.

"That was him," said manager Dave Roberts. "That's good for Yasiel. Any guy that he can potentially see and gather information, that's smart. He made the trek to Scottsdale. He'll benefit from it."

Puig also seemed extra motivated by a raucous and jeering Giants crowd.

"He gets up for big moments," Roberts said. "The welcome he got from these fans lit a fire under him. The focus is there. He wants to build on his season last year. The body looks good. He's not as bulky as he was the last couple of years. We're getting him into shape."

Camp battle
In the fight for left field, Joc Pederson started there and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout; Trayce Thompson came off the bench and went 1-for-3; Alex Verdugo came off the bench and went 0-for-2, including a flyout to the track in dead center.

Injury update
Corey Seager, whose throwing program was set back a few days while he recovered from the norovirus, said he plans to begin throwing to bases on Monday. Seager has not played defense this spring as he's rebuilding arm strength after injuring his elbow last season.

Barnes has been limited to designated-hitter duties with a milder elbow condition, but he'll catch his first game on Tuesday.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. Listen to his podcast.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Logan Forsythe, Kenta Maeda, Yasiel Puig