LOS ANGELES—Kenta Maeda made a roaring return to the starting lineup on Sunday, June 18. The recently demoted pitcher delivered five innings of solid pitching and a two RBI second inning double on his way to his fifth win of the year.
“The team wanted me to be aggressive and pound the zone and that’s what happened,” Maeda said through an interpreter. “It took some time for me to start again, but I was able to get into a rhythm. I tried to stay aggressive and not change my plan with runners on base.”
The Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo (3-6, 7.35 ERA) was not able to experience similar success. The Dodgers chased him early, with Kenta Maeda scoring two runs off him early, Pederson scoring Maeda with an RBI single, and Logan Forsythe belting a two run homer off the veteran pitcher. The score was 5-0 in the third inning when he was yanked from the game. Forsythe, who has been hitting .127 against right handed pitchers, has shown great promise since recently coming off the disabled list.
“The last couple of games the timing’s been a little bit better,” said Forsythe. “I’m getting into a position where I can actually fire and be a little more aggressive. The work is starting to pay off, and the suggestions from about everybody. It’s been a long road. Haven’t been in a slump like that for a long time.”
The Dodgers built a 8-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning before the Reds showed any signs of life. Once the Reds took the plate in the sixth it was as if a lightning rod hit their bats and things became interesting. Adam Duvall hit a solo homer in the sixth, and Scooter Gennett followed with a three run shot in the seventh to bring the score to 8-5. Cincinnati continued their surge in the eighth when Eugenio Suarez hit a solo homer, followed by a Billy Hamilton’s RBI double that brought the score to 8-7.
The Reds had a chance to make a full comeback when Joey Votto sent a shot high and deep to left field before Kike Hernandez made a spectacular game saving catch. The play undoubtedly doomed the Reds chance of a comeback, and caught the attention of the opposing manager.
“Hernandez makes the play of the year going up against the wall with [two on] and two outs, which definitely would have given us the lead with the chance to close it out with [Raisel Iglesias],” said Reds manager Bryan Price . “So hats off to the Dodgers. They really won the game. It wasn’t like we really gave it to them. They went out and won it.”
After Hernandez saved runs with his magnificent defense, Kenley Jansen came on to save the game with his magnificent pitching. He recorded his 15th save of the season after retiring all three batters in the ninth inning. The Reds scored more than three runs for the first time in six games, but still extended their losing streak to to nine. The Dodgers have won the last 9 of 10 games. They will look to continue their great play as Clayton Kershaw (9-3, 2.23 ERA) will take the mound in Mondays series opener against the New York Mets