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Kenta Maeda rolls on, Luis Avilan struggles in Dodgers' loss to Reds

Norm Hall/Getty Images

PHOENIX -- Kenta Maeda concluded the Arizona portion of his spring training with another solid outing, pitching into the sixth inning in the Dodgers' 7-6 loss to the Reds on Sunday afternoon at Camelback Ranch. It was the third consecutive one-run affair for the Dodgers, who let three ties slip through their grasp in a span of about 27 hours.

Maeda allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in his 5⅓ innings, the longest outing of the spring so far by a Dodgers starting pitcher, with five strikeouts and one walk.

Through five Cactus League starts Maeda has a 1.89 ERA to go with 18 strikeouts and five walks in his 19 innings. With one tuneup start remaining before the regular season, Maeda appears ready, having adapted quite well to a new team, new league, and new culture.

"I was able to accept a lot of the differences that were brought up here, that is what I expected. I thought I did a good job with many of the changes," Maeda said. "There’s nothing in particular that was hard to adjust to, I came here with an open mind and a willingness to adjust and try different things."

Avilan's rough spring

Luis Avilan allowed a pair of doubles and three runs in the sixth inning on Sunday while recording only two outs. It was the second blow-up outing in the last three for Avilan, vying to be the second left-hander in the bullpen behind J.P. Howell.

"Avilan just left fastballs up. There’s no fastball command. He tried to throw a breaking ball, and bounced it," Dave Roberts said after the game. "He just left balls out over the plate."

Avilan, acquired from the Braves last July 30, has held left-handed hitters to just .217/.281/.294 in his four-year career, including .271/.290/.375 in 2015. But this spring he has allowed nine runs on 13 hits in six innings, with seven strikeouts and three walks.

"You don’t want to completely judge on spring training, especially if a guy has a track record, but there has got to be some success and some confidence going into a season," Roberts said. "I think that you have two lefties in the pen, they both have got to get lefties out and so we’ve tried to put them in spots to get lefties and as we kind of get towards the end of camp, he’s going to get those opportunities that we are looking for him to have better success."

Up next

The Dodgers have a night game on Monday, hosting the Rangers at Camelback Ranch at 7:05 p.m. PT. Alex Wood starts for the Dodgers, against Derek Holland for Texas in a game that will be on SportsNet LA.