Right-hander Kenta Maeda pitched an uneven five innings Wednesday in his first start since coming off the disabled list as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Texas Rangers 3-2 in extra innings to sweep the two-game interleague series.
In his first start since May 29, Maeda gave up two runs and allowed the visitors to tie the game at Dodger Stadium, while both teams’ relievers preserved the tie until the 11th inning.
“The biggest thing is that it was a normal outing,” Maeda said. “Even though it wasn’t very good, I was able to clear the scheduled four, five innings while throwing a steady game. I was anxious, but I got mentally easier as I was pitching.”
Maeda, who is 4-4 in 12 games this season, had been on the disabled list after suffering a right hip strain and making a second-inning exit from his May 29 game against the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the second DL stint of his career.
The 30-year-old Japanese got off to a shaky start, hitting the second batter before a double play limited the damage, and Justin Turner’s solo home run gave the Dodgers a first-inning lead. Maeda retired three straight in the second. Yasiel Puig stole third and scored on a throwing error on the play to make it 2-0 in the home half of the second.
Maeda scattered a hit and walk in the third, and two Texas runners scored in the fourth on a double to Adrian Beltre and back-to-back RBI singles. Maeda’s third walk led to a fifth-inning mound visit, and the righty left the game with the score tied.
(Tempers flare between Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos and Matt Kemp, 27, of the Dodgers after a collision at home plate in the third inning.)
In the 11th, Texas righty Matt Bush inherited a two-on, one-out jam from Jesse Chavez (2-1), and walked the first batter he faced before getting a comebacker from Austin Barnes. Needing only a force at home to prevent a run, Bush’s throw pulled catcher Carlos Perez off the base, and Enrique Hernandez evaded the tag to score the winning run. Los Angeles lefty Adam Liberatore (2-1) got the win for a scoreless 11th.
Beltre’s fourth-inning double was his 3,090th career hit, as he surpassed Seattle Mariners executive Ichiro Suzuki by one for the most base hits by a foreign-born player. The Dominican moved into 21st on Major League Baseball’s all-time hit list, edging Suzuki into 22nd.
Among other Japanese pitchers, New York Yankees’ right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who went on the disabled list Saturday with mild strains in both hamstrings, was warming up with teammates before Wednesday’s game against the Washington Nationals but left and was diagnosed with an ear infection that does not appear serious.