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For one thing, the Dodgers came limping into this third and final game of the series against the cheatin’ Cardinals after barely winning an extra inning nightmare, followed by getting stomped in a game that had no business being that close. The Dodgers were feeling good after gaining some momentum against weak teams on their early schedule, but they were stalling against a heavyweight from another division.
Add to all of that, Kenta Maeda was getting the start after a long layoff on the 10-day disabled list, and things looked very iffy for the boys in blue.
The game certainly started out iffy as the Cheaters batted almost completely through their lineup in the first inning, and were leading 3-0 before the seats were warm – or even half filled for that matter. The Blue Faithful were starting to get restless.
Chase Utley had something to say about all this, and he blasted a solo home run (his first of the year) to get the boys on the board.
Maeda settled down and he held the cheaters scoreless in the 2nd, the 3rd, and then again in the 4th!
That’s when the Dodgers turned it on with a couple of clutch at bats by Enrique Hernandez and Yasiel Puig. After he fouled off three inside pitches, the cheaters tried to pitch the Banana Kid outside. He went with the pitch and singled himself aboard. That hit also moved Cody Bellinger to third.
With a two strike count, Yasiel brilliantly shortened up and with a “protect” swing, he singled and knocked in Bellinger to bring the Dodgers within one run (Kike moved to third).
Hyun-Jin Ryu was warming up in the BP (that’s right, warming up!), but the skipper let Maeda bat, and it proved to be the right move. Puig stole second, and then Maeda singled to LF, driving in two runs and putting the Dodgers ahead for the first time in the game. Dodgers 4-3.
Maeda pitched his fourth consecutive scoreless inning and the Dodger offense went right back to work. Chris Taylor was on third and he came in to score on a wild pitch.
The File Cabinet doubled and he knocked in another run. Dodgers 6-3.
Hyun-Jin Ryu came in as a reliever and he got the job done in the sixth. The Dodgers had the cheaters reeling and they did not let up. The Banana kid doubled, and then Chris Taylor doubled to knock him in. Dodgers 7-3. Meanwhile, Ryu kept up the good work and he threw two more scoreless innings. And he looked pretty sharp doing it.
He was doing so well, in the bottom of the eighth, Ryu was allowed to lead off the inning, which meant he would be closing the game out. He started the ninth with a four pitch walk, so Kenley Jansen got up in the BP. He wasn’t needed after all, as Ryu got a force out at second, and followed that up with a double play to end the game.
Dodgers Win 7-3 and take the series two games to one.
Kenta Maeda (W 4-2) went 5 with 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks and 4 Ks. ERA 5.08 Not great numbers, but most of the hurt came from a rusty first inning. After that, he shut out the cheaters.