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Kenta Maeda starts regular season finale for Dodgers

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Rookie RHP leads team in innings, strikeouts, starts and wins

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Kenta Maeda closes out the Dodgers regular season with his start on Sunday against the Giants, as the only starting pitcher on the club to answer the bell all year long.

The right-hander has a 3.28 ERA and 3.58 FIP in his first year in the majors, and leads the Dodgers staff in innings (173) and strikeouts (176). Sunday will be his team-leading 32nd start, for which he will get a $1.5 million bonus per the terms of his contract.

Should the Dodgers salvage their final game of the series and should Maeda get the win, he would join Rick Sutcliffe as the only Los Angeles Dodgers rookie pitchers to win 17 games.

That would require some runs scored by the Dodgers, who were shut out on Saturday and held to three runs over the first two games of the series in San Francisco. They face another left-hander in Matt Moore on Sunday, for the fifth time in 2016.

Moore as been on both extremes against the Dodgers this season with two good starts and two bad ones. The good starts were very good, including coming within one out of a no-hitter on Aug. 25 at Dodger Stadium. But the bad starts were terrible, including getting torched for six runs on seven hits while recording three outs on Sept. 21 in Los Angeles.

Key for the Dodgers just might be Yasiel Puig, who had one of the Dodgers’ three hits in Saturday’s loss. Puig is 16-for-53 (.302) since returning from Triple-A Oklahoma City, with four home runs, four doubles (.604 slugging percentage), 12 RBI and six walks (.361 on-base percentage), and 10 runs scored.

Puig hit a three-run home run against Moore 11 days ago.

Bullpen workload

Much like Kenley Jansen got in an inning of work on Saturday after not pitching since last Sunday at home, don’t be surprised if some of the key cogs in the back end of the pen pitch on Sunday regardless of the score, especially with four off days between the regular season finale and Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday.

For instance, Joe Blanton and Pedro Baez haven’t pitched since Sunday, and Grant Dayton last pitched on Tuesday. In addition, Alex Wood warmed up in the bullpen on Saturday but did not pitch. He figures to see time on Sunday, too.

Since his activation from the disabled list on Sept. 20, Wood has pitched three scoreless innings over three appearances, allowing one single and striking out two, facing the minimum nine batters.

Dodgers relievers lead the majors in appearances (601) and innings (585⅓) in 2016, both franchise records.

Game info

Dodgers (91-70) at Giants (86-75)

Time: 12:05 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet, KTLA

All nine innings of the television broadcast will also be simulcast on AM 570 radio. In addition, MLB.tv is free for the final weekend of the regular season.

In San Francisco, the Giants will simulcast the third inning of Scully’s call on both CSN Bay Area on television and KNBR 680 on radio.