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Kenta Maeda bounces back, leads Dodgers over Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Kenta Maeda had by far his best outing of the season, and Justin Turner helped out with the offense, leading the Dodgers to a 5-3 win over the Phillies on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

With the win the Dodgers pulled back to .500 on the season (.500).

Maeda showed much better command of his fastball on Friday, and it showed, with eight strikeouts and seven ground ball outs induced. He allowed a two-run double in the third inning, but that was it for the scoring.

By lasting seven innings on Friday, Maeda tied his career high, accomplished last season. The last time was July 10, 2016, 19 starts ago.

Maeda, who entered Friday with an 8.05 ERA and seven home runs allowed in four starts, was pitching like someone fighting to stay in the rotation, and given the results he just might have.

In this current run through the rotation, a six-man trip this time around, Dodgers starters have averaged 6.44 innings with a 1.63 ERA.

Turner was 3-for-4 on the night with a pair of RBI, extending his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest of his career and the longest in the majors this season.

His two-run double in the sixth inning widened the Dodgers’ lead to 5-2, and was his 10th double of the season, the most in the National League. Turner is the first Dodgers third baseman with double-digit doubles in a single month since Billy Cox in July 1953.

There are still two days remaining in April, but Turner is having one of the more unique months in Dodgers history. He is hitting .381/.447/.500, but also has no home runs in 22 games.

Since 1913, the Dodgers record for most doubles in a month without a home run is 13, accomplished by Dixie Walker in August 1941 and Billy Herman in May 1943.

Key moment

Josh Fields relieved Maeda in the eighth and allowed two singles and a wild pitch, bringing the tying run to the plate. After a sacrifice fly cut the Dodgers’ advantage to two runs, Luis Avilan was called in to pitch to Michael Saunders with two out.

Their nine-pitch battle ended in a swinging strikeout on a changeup, keeping another run 90 feet away and ending the inning.

In control

Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth inning for his sixth save of the season, and struck out the side. On the season, he has 16 strikeouts without any walks.

Up next

Brandon McCarthy starts the middle game of the series on Saturday night, a 6:10 p.m. PT start. Overnight Dodgers pitcher Zach Eflin starts for the Phillies

Friday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Kenta Maeda (2-2): 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts

LP - Jerad Eickhoff (0-2): 5 IP, 9 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (6): 1 IP, 3 strikeouts