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Dodgers salvage final game in Denver

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies
Kenta Maeda gave the Dodgers the length they needed on Thursday night.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Kenta Maeda was sharp, and the Dodgers offense did enough to salvage the final game of a three-game series, beating the Rockies 4-2 on Thursday night at Coors Field in Denver.

The Dodgers kept pace with the win, staying two games behind the Giants in the National League West. LA and San Francisco have had the same outcome in each of their last four games.

After seeing Dodgers starting pitchers total just 7⅓ innings in the last three games combined, Maeda lasted into the sixth inning on Thursday, helping to ease some of the recent strain on the bullpen.

Maeda struck out five and walked none, allowing two runs in 5⅔ innings for his 10th win of the season. In three starts against the Rockies — including two at Coors Field — Maeda has allowed three runs in 17⅔ innings, with 22 strikeouts against just two walks.

That pushed Maeda to 125⅔ innings on the season, now most on the Dodgers. He passed Clayton Kershaw, who has 121 innings, and last pitched on June 26, 31 games ago.

The only tallies against him on Thursday came on a two-run home run by rookie David Dahl in the fourth innings, Dahl’s third home run in his 10th major league game and his first at Coors Field.

Down 2-1 in the fifth inning, the Dodgers staged a three-run rally against Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood that saw them hit for a team cycle. Corey Seager hit a solo home run to tie the game, tying the LA Dodgers franchise record with 19 home runs by a shortstop in a single season.

Justin Turner followed with a double to the center field wall, narrowly missing back-to-back home runs. That double was the fourth extra-base hit of the series for Turner and his 44th of the season, setting a new personal best.

Adrian Gonzalez followed with an infield single, then Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run triple to give the Dodgers the lead. It was the third triple of Grandal’s career, but his first since July 24, 2014.

Even with the heavy bullpen usage in the last week, Thursday’s crew was relatively well rested. Pedro Baez, who relieved Maeda and four outs through the seventh inning, was pitching for the first time since Sunday.

Kenley Jansen pitched in his first game since Friday, and got the final three outs for his 32nd save.

The bullpen trio of Baez, Joe Blanton and Jansen retired 10 of the 11 batters they faced.

You make the call

After a single by Grandal in the second inning, Joc Pederson hit a two-out double down the right field line, deflected off the glove of first baseman Mark Reynolds. A Rockies fan grabbed the ball in play with his glove, killing any chance Grandal had of scoring on the play.

Though umpires have the discretion to award an extra base on fan interference, thanks to Rule 6.01(c), they chose not to, instead stopping Grandal at third on the ground-rule double.

Maeda flew out to right field to end the threat.

Up next

The Dodgers are back home this weekend, hosting the Red Sox in an anticipated interleague series. Scott Kazmir starts the opener on Friday night, with knuckleballer Steven Wright starting for Boston.

Thursday particulars

Home runs: Corey Seager (19); David Dahl (3)

WP - Kenta Maeda (10-7): 5⅔ IP, 4 his, 2 runs, 5 strikeouts

LP - Tyler Chatwood (10-7): 6 IP, 9 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (32): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts