SAN DIEGO – If you had your money on new Dodgers' Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda to hit the team's first home run of 2016, it's time to collect your money.
Maeda hit a 352-foot blast in the top of the fourth inning off Padres' pitcher Andrew Cashner to give the Los Angeles Dodgers their first homer of the season. Shockingly, Maeda recorded the first home run before the San Diego Padres and Anaheim Angels had this season.
The Japanese right-hander is no stranger to home run hitting as reportedly he hit 27 home runs during his school career in Japan where he batted cleanup. However, as he focused more on his pitching in the Japanese League, he had only hit two career home runs over eight seasons and nearly 510 plate appearances.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Maeda is the only Dodgers pitcher to homer in his first career game since 1900.
Meanwhile, Madea was not too shabby on the mound, as he continued the Dodgers streak of starting pitchers who have thrown shutouts to start the season. Maeda allowed no runs on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts with six shutout innings in his Major League debut.
I didn't teach Kenta Maeda anything he knows about hitting. — Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson35) April 7, 2016