Is Kenta Maeda back?
The Japanese right-hander recorded his best outing of the season as the Dodgers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-3, on Friday night, snapping their six-game winning streak.
Maeda (2-2) entered the game with an 8.05 ERA and had never pitched deep into any game on the season. In fact, in his four starts, Maeda never even reached the sixth inning.
On a windy Friday night at the Ravine, Maeda returned to his 2016 form, striking out a season-high eight batters as he allowed only two runs on five hits in seven strong innings.
It was the longest Maeda had pitched into a game since July 10, 2016 against the Padres.
"It was a huge boost of confidence," he said through a translator after going deep into the game. "It was a really good day."
Maeda worked in one of his new pitches, a cutter, for the first time this season, as he told reporters he hopes his new pitch will be another way to get hitters out moving forward.
Meada got plenty of run support thanks to Justin Turner who went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI as he extended his hit streak to a career-high 14 games--the longest active hitting streak in MLB.
Since April 13, Turner is batting .400 with five runs, five doubles and seven RBI.
Freddy Galvis knocked in the Phillies first two runs of the game as he extended his own hitting streak to 10 games with a double in the third inning.
Jerad Eickhoff (0-2) gave up nine hits and five runs. It was the first time Eickhoff had given up more than three runs in his last 13 starts.
"I had it in the first inning there and then just couldn’t find the release point," Eickhoff said of his performance. "I struggled with it. I kept them off-balance with the slider and located fastballs. I mean they had seven and eight singles or something like that? So the ball just fell where it did today. It was kind of frustrating but yeah, just the curveball, I couldn’t put them away."
The Phillies pushed a run across in the eighth against two relievers, but Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save.
"I hope this win starts something for us," said Jansen. "I tried to come out more focused tonight."
The postgame fireworks show was cancelled due to the high winds.
The game marked the return of veteran Howie Kendrick to Dodger Stadium. Kendrick spent the last two seasons with the Dodgers, but was traded to the Phillies in the offseason.
Unfortunately for fans, Kendrick is currently on the disabled list with a right abdominal strain, and is not expected to be activated during the series with the Dodgers.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (0-0, 2.25) will make his third start of the season Saturday. He last pitched seven innings and gave up three hits and one run in a no decision against Atlanta on April 23.
Dodgers: RHP Brandon McCarthy (3-0, 2.25) will make his third career start against the Phillies. He is 0-1 against Philadelphia with 17 strikeouts. McCarthy last pitched vs Philly on April 27, 2014 as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks and lost a 2-0 decision.