Maeda strikes out career-high 13, Dodgers beat Padres
LOS ANGELES (AP) With their bats finally catching up to their pitching, the Los Angeles Dodgers are taking a three-game winning streak and a jolt of confidence into the All-Star break.
''Everybody's swinging the bat really well,'' said Howie Kendrick, who had three hits in the Dodgers' 3-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
''It took us a little while to get it going. (Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez) had a little lull there. (Corey) Seager's been hot all year, but it's good to see different guys get it going.''
Rookie Kenta Maeda (8-6) struck out a career-high 13 over seven innings and held San Diego to a run on two hits, including a solo homer to Derek Norris. He retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced and struck out six straight near the end of his outing.
''It seemed like everything played off the fastball,'' catcher Yasmani Grandal said. ''He was commanding it, and then he was the same ol' Kenta, throwing curveballs for strikes, sliders for strikes, good pitches for changeups. But we kept them honest with the fastball.''
Gonzalez got his first homer in 25 games to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead in the fifth against Christian Friedrich (4-5). Gonzalez has hit safely in five straight games and is batting .455 over his past 12 games.
Kendrick extended his hitting streak to seven games. He doubled and scored in the first and drove in the Dodgers' second run with line-drive single in the second. He also reached safely on an infield single in the sixth.
Corey Seager, voted into the All-Star Game by the players, continued his hot-hitting with an RBI single in the first. The rookie has hit safely in 19 of his last 21 games, batting .366 during the stretch.
The Dodgers fought off an anemic offense early in the season to go into the All-Star break a season-high 11 games over .500.
''For our guys it was just staying focused on winning each game, and not getting focused on what players are hurt, what people are saying about us,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ''There were a couple of stretches in there where we could have gone the other way.''
Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth for his 27th save.
For the Padres, the three losses to end the first half left them 18-18 since June 1 and headed into the break needing to regroup.
''I thought it was just bad baseball,'' Padres manager Andy Green said. ''There's nothing else to say. I thought we were somewhat listless offensively. We had opportunities to square up the baseball and didn't.''
One Padre did, when Norris drove the first pitch he saw from Maeda with one out in the fifth over the left-field wall for his 12th homer.
Friedrich lost for the fourth time in five starts, giving up three runs and seven hits over five innings.
Clayton Kershaw threw 25 pitches off a mound before the game and Roberts said there was ''definitely encouraging'' progress in the left-hander's rehab from a back injury.
The Dodgers have not set a timetable for the three-time Cy Young Award winner's return.
''He will not be in the rotation when we come back from the break,'' Roberts said
Tennis player and Thousand Oaks resident Sam Querrey threw out the game's ceremonial first pitch. Querrey upset top-ranked Novac Djokovic in the third round at Wimbledon on July 2.
Padres: 2B Jemile Weeks (right hamstring strain) continues to progress through his running program. The Padres hope to get him into minor league rehab games after the All-Star break. ... 2B Corey Spangenberg (left quad strain) suffered a setback running on Friday and has been sent back to San Diego to be re-evaluated. ... RHP Tyson Ross (right shoulder inflammation) has suffered a sprained ankle and will see a doctor on Monday. ''He's been throwing still, but just can't get off the mound from a stability standpoint with the ankle,'' Padres manager Andy Green said.
Dodgers: Bud Norris, Brandon McCarthy and Maeda are slated to start the first three games after the All-Star break in Arizona, with Scott Kazmir and Hyun-Jin Ryu to go in Washington. ... Long-time Dodger announcer Vin Scully, in his final season at age 88, took a routine day off on Sunday.
Padres: Andrew Cashner (3-7, 5.40) will make his third start of the year against the Giants when the Padres open the second half hosting San Francisco. Cashner has lost five of his last six decisions, dating to May 8.
Dodgers: Bud Norris (4-7, 3.98) will make his third start in a Dodger uniform when Los Angeles opens the second half in Arizona on Friday. Norris is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA for the Dodgers since being acquired in a five-player deal from Atlanta on June 30.