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Maeda Strikes Out Nine, as Dodgers Defeat Padres

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Logan Forsythe got an RBI.

Kenta Maeda allowed one run, and Logan Forsythe broke out of his slump with an RBI single, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres, 4-2, on Wednesday night at Petco Park.

Following a split of the first two games that saw the Dodgers offense erupt on Monday, only to sputter out on Tuesday, Los Angeles scored three runs in the third and held on the remainder of the way.

San Diego struck first in the bottom half of the first inning, as they greeted Maeda with back-to-back hits to start the game.

“Beginning of the game I was just feeling things out,” said Maeda through a translator. “As the game moved on, I felt better and better.”

Travis Jankowski made a diving catch in the top of the first, and then led off with a single. Two pitchers later, Carlos Asuaje hit an RBI double down the right field line and the Padres were off and running, 1-0.

The Dodgers rallied with three runs of their won in the bottom half of the third as Matt Kemp knocked in Kiké Hernandez for his team-leading 59th RBI of the season. Kemp leads the Majors with a .431 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Two batters later, the bases were loaded for Logan Forysthe, and the slumping second baseman hit an RBI single back up the middle to extend the inning and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

“He got an infield hit and a walk,” said Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts of Forsythe. “He’s trying to adjust to this new role. Which is something he hasn’t done in a few years. He’s doing everything he can to help us win baseball games so you have to give him credit.”

After a wild pitch by San Diego starter Joey Lucchesi, Cody Bellinger reached base on an error by shortstop Freddy Galvis and L.A. had a 3-1 lead.

Lucchesi (4-5), would only last another inning as he took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in four short innings.

“He had a little cramping in his hand,” said Padres’ manager Andy Green. “He was good enough to continue in the game, but he had a hard time finishing guys today.”

Meanwhile, Maeda (6-5), who was activated off the paternity list on Tuesday after the birth of his son, struck out nine batters for the fourth consecutive start, surrendering just one run on four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in 5 and 2/3 innings.

Over his last nine starts, Maeda has been masterful, going 4-2 with a 1.97 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 61 strikeouts.

“I feel like every game there’s been some consistency,” Maeda said of his last nine starts. “How the pitches come out of my hand and how I feel in general, that’s been the biggest difference.”

Christian Villanueva hit a line-drive home run for his 18th longball of the season in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Dodgers got the run right back in the top of the eighth after Chris Taylor hit an RBI single that scored Chase Utley.

Every Dodgers run came with two outs.

“That’s what winning teams do,” said Taylor who knocked in the insurance run with two outs in the eighth. “Coming up with big two out hits with guys in scoring position is the key to a championship team.”

Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 25th save of the season.

The Dodgers have defeated the Friars in eight of their 12 games this season and can win the series in the finale on Thursday.

Since May 17, Los Angeles is 16-6 on the road, the best record away from home in all of baseball.

Up Next:

Ross Stripling, who was recently added to the National League All-Star team will start in the finale on Thursday opposite RHP Tyson Ross. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

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