Maeda dominates in spot start for Dodgers

Kenta Maeda has gone from the rotation to the bullpen to spot starting this month.

Maeda, like many baseball players, was built on routine, but his job has become anything but predictable with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

No matter. This role seems to suit him just fine.

Maeda pitched four-hit ball over seven innings in a spot start, Joc Pederson hit a three-run homer and the Dodgers beat the Angels 4-0 on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Maeda (6-3) was moved to the bullpen earlier this month, but filled in Tuesday to give the rotation an extra day of rest. He dominated the Dodgers’ crosstown rival, striking out six with no walks on 92 pitches. His ERA dropped to 4.15.

He’ll get another spot start before the All-Star break, too. Why not, with results like this?

“I think there’s definitely a sense of urgency overall,” Maeda said through an interpreter. “I didn’t start off the year on a good note. Regardless of if I’m in the bullpen or starting, there’s definitely a sense of urgency that I feel to produce results.”

Maeda was 2-2 with a 6.58 ERA in April. He’s allowed just four runs in 21 innings in June.

Marlins 6, Mets 3

In Miami, Ichiro Suzuki had a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning to put the Marlins ahead, and Christian Yelich collected three hits.

Ichiro poked a pitch to the opposite field against Jerry Blevins for a 4-3 lead. The 43-year-old Ichiro leads the majors with 12 pinch hits.

Diamondbacks 6, Cardinals 5 (10)

In Phoenix, Chris Herrmann hit a game-ending RBI single in the 10th inning.

Nationals 6, Cubs 1

In Washington, Max Scherzer pitched six sharp innings, Trea Turner had four of the Nationals’ seven steals and the Nationals beat Jake Arrieta and Chicago in a showdown of the past two NL Cy Young Award winners.

Rangers 2, Indians 1

In Cleveland, Adrian Beltre hit his 450th home run, a solo drive in the ninth inning off Cody Allen.

Red Sox 9, Twins 2

In Boston, Chris Young hit a three-run homer, Christian Vazquez went deep for the first time in more than a year.

White Sox 4, Yankees 3

In Chicago, Jose Abreu hit a game-ending, two-run single off Dellin Betances, and the White Sox stopped a four-game losing streak.

Orioles 3, Blue Jays 1

In Toronto, Kevin Gausman won for the first time in four starts.

Athletics 6, Astros 4

In Houston, Ryon Healy’s first career grand slam broke a tie in the sixth inning, and Oakland held on for its fourth straight win.

Phillies 8, Mariners 2

In Seattle, Maikel Franco and Arron Altherr homered for Philadelphia.

Rays 4, Pirates 2 (10)

In Pittsburgh, David Freese misplayed a grounder at third base, allowing Steven Souza Jr. to score in the 10th.

Tigers 5, Royals 3

In Detroit, J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera homered for the Tigers.

Reds 8, Brewers 6

In Cincinnati, Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth inning.

Braves 3, Padres 0

In San Diego, Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb struck out eight over six-plus innings for his first major league victory.

Giants 4, Rockies 3 (14)

In San Francisco, Denard Span singled home Gorkys Hernandez with two outs in the 14th.

The Giants went cold after Kelby Tomlinson’s tying single in the eighth inning before rallying to win off Chad Qualls (1-1).

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