Dodger waste Maeda's effort in 1-0 loss to Rockies
LOS ANGELES (AP) Kenta Maeda was downright dominant for a good portion of a contest Wednesday night against the Colorado Rockies.
The Los Angeles Dodgers offense just couldn't pick their pitcher up.
Chris Rusin combined with four relievers on a four-hitter as the Rockies beat the Dodgers 1-0 in the rubber match of their three-game series.
Maeda (5-4) took the loss for the Dodgers despite a career-high nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits and took a shutout into the seventh before Daniel Descalso broke a scoreless tie with a two-out RBI single.
''Kenta threw the ball great,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ''To go six-plus, punch out nine, give up one earned run, we've got to win that game. You've still got to score to win. He did everything he possibly could.''
Maeda struck out the first four batters he faced and never slowed. He had seven strikeouts through four innings and nine through six to keep the game scoreless going into the seventh.
That's when the Rockies broke through against him. Gerardo Parra stroked a one-out double for Colorado's first extra-base hit of the game, and Descalso brought him home with a sinking two-out liner that dropped just in front of charging center fielder Trayce Thompson for an RBI single.
Roberts had gone out to the mound to speak with Maeda immediately before Descalso's at-bat and decided to leave him in.
''I definitely wanted to pitch,'' Maeda said through an interpreter. ''I wanted to make sure I got off the mound at the end of the inning. It didn't work out the way I hoped.''
Rusin (2-4) limited the Dodgers to three hits in six innings for his first win since April 13. The 29-year old walked one and struck out three.
Chad Qualls and Boone Logan combined for a hitless seventh, Carlos Estevez struck out the side in the eighth and Jake McGee pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.
Rusin retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced, including 10 straight at one point. He worked around his lone jam of the night, a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the fifth, with a strikeout of Kike Hernandez and a groundout from Justin Turner.
''Kike is an aggressive hitter who can let the crowd get to him a little bit so I tried to use that to my advantage,'' Rusin said. ''With Turner I was able to get it in enough on him so he couldn't hit it hard.''
That would be the Dodgers best chance of the night. They stranded eight men on base and were held to one run or less for the third time in a week.
Rockies: SS Trevor Story (rest) received a day off after going 0 for 4 with four strikeouts on Tuesday.
Dodgers: RHP Brandon McCarthy (Tommy John surgery) will make his first rehab start at Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday and pitch three innings, Roberts said. McCarthy last pitched on April 25, 2015.
WHO'S ON FIRST?
A Rockies fielding blunder in the fifth allowed the Dodgers to load the bases with one out. Both the first baseman Descalso and second baseman DJ LeMahieu covered first base on Maeda's sacrifice bunt attempt to third, and third baseman Nolan Arenado threw in the direction of first base hoping one of them would catch it.
LeMahieu stepped off the bag but reached out and snatched the throw in front of Descalso, allowing Maeda to reach first safely.
The miscue ended up not costing the Rockies. Rusin followed the flub with his strikeout of Hernandez and got Turner to ground out for the final out of the inning.
NEWCOMBE TURNS 90
The Dodgers honored former pitcher Don Newcombe on his 90th birthday before the game.
Newcombe is a four-time All-Star who pitched for the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles from 1949-58.
He was serenaded with a rendition of ''Happy Birthday'' at home plate prior to first pitch, and a Newcombe bobblehead was given to fans in attendance.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (4-5, 5.58) opens a three-game home series against Pittsburgh on Thursday. He is 0-3 with an 11.48 ERA in his last three starts.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (8-1, 1.47 ERA) takes the mound in the opener of a three-game series at San Francisco on Friday. He is 9-3 with a 1.23 ERA in 16 career games at AT&T Park.