Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenta Maeda bounce St. Louis Cardinals

By Bucky Dent, The Sports Xchange
Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenta Maeda bounce St. Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda delivers a pitch to the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on July 23, 2016. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

ST. LOUIS -- Two big innings and a solid start from Kenta Maeda got the Los Angeles Dodgers back into the win column after a 16-inning loss on Friday night.

A four-run third and a three-run sixth, teamed with 5 2/3 innings from Maeda, gave Los Angeles a 7-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night at sold-out Busch Stadium.


Adrian Gonzalez belted his eighth home run of the season for the Dodgers (55-44) to start the sixth, which also featured an RBI single from Joc Pederson and a comically bad bit of defense by St. Louis.

With Andrew Toles caught in a rundown, first baseman Matt Adams made an errant throw home to enable Toles to score the inning's final run.

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Maeda (9-7) gave up five hits and two runs, walking none and fanning three, in his first career start against the Cardinals (52-45).

Luis Avilan and Ross Stripling combined for the last 10 outs, giving the rest of the Los Angeles bullpen a breather after the Dodgers used eight and nine pitchers, respectively, in their last two games.


St. Louis starter Mike Leake (7-8) was punished for 12 hits, tying a career high, and seven runs -- six earned -- over six innings. Leake walked none and struck out four.

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The result enabled the Dodgers to remain a game ahead of Miami for the National League's first wild-card spot, while dropping the Cardinals a game back of the Marlins for the second wild card position.

Los Angeles started the scoring with four runs in the third. Pitcher Kenta Maeda's safety-squeeze bunt became an RBI single when no one covered first, plating Andrew Toles with the first run.

Corey Seager made it 2-0 with the Dodgers' third infield single of the inning, scoring Joc Pederson. Justin Turner followed with a two-run double to the wall in right center to bring home Maeda and Seager.

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Maeda also did his job and then some on the mound through five innings, allowing only one ball to leave the infield.

That was Matt Adams' leadoff homer into the right field seats in the fifth, his 12th home run of the year, giving St. Louis a homer in 14 straight games and putting it atop the National League with 135 long balls.


NOTES: St. Louis will call up RHP Mike Mayers, who is 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA this season between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis, to start Sunday night's series finale. It will be his MLB debut. ... Los Angeles called up RHP Ross Stripling from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned LHP Grant Dayton, who threw two scoreless innings in his MLB debut on Friday night, to Oklahoma City. The Dodgers needed a fresh arm after using 17 pitchers in the previous two games. ... Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig (right hamstring) didn't start for the second straight game.

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