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Kenta Maeda stingy as Dodgers take opener with Brewers

Dodgers have won 18 of last 22 games against teams with winning records

Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Kenta Maeda continued his strikeout binge in August, and found a way continue his dalliance with the number one, shutting down the Brewers for six innings in a 3-1 Dodgers victory in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Maeda, whose seasonal stats entering Friday were filled with binary code, allowed a solo home run in the second inning to Domingo Santana, but other than a pair of fourth-inning walks that was it against the right-hander, who has a 2.76 ERA in five August starts.

“It’s attacking the strike zone,” manager Dave Roberts said. “There are times when he starts to be a little too fine. But when he’s on the attack, he’s pretty special.”

After retiring his final seven batters faced, Maeda was done after six innings. It was the fifth start by a Dodgers pitcher allowing one hit this season. Those starts were by five different Dodgers starters, and none are named Clayton Kershaw.

Maeda struck out seven, his fifth consecutive start with at least six strikeouts. He owns a 30.9-percent strikeout rate in August, with 34 strikeouts and just five walks this month. His record for strikeouts in a month is 38, set in June 2016, and Maeda has one more start remaining in August.

“He seems to be more aggressive, and more intent with all of his pitches. He also added that cutter to change the shape,” third baseman Justin Turner said. “He has three different breaking balls that he’s throwing, to keep guys off balance.”

Logan Forsythe tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning with his fourth home run of the season, a shot to left center field for the first run of the game against Chase Anderson. That was the first home run for Forsythe since July 6, snapping a span of 36 games and 138 plate appearances without.

“It was nice to yell at the top of my lungs, ‘Get out of there, Logie Bear!’,” Roberts said.

Forsythe also walked (he does have a .423 on-base percentage in August, after all) and stole second base in the sixth, the sixth Dodger with a home run and stolen base in the same game this season.

Another stolen base, one inning earlier, helped give the Dodgers the lead. Turner with two outs and stole second, his sixth successful try in seven attempts this season. Yasmani Grandal followed with a single up the middle, his third consecutive game with at least one run batted in.

That was it against Anderson, who struck out six in his five innings. Brewers starters have allowed just four runs (three earned) in 23 innings against the Dodgers this season, but Los Angeles has prevailed in three of the four games.

Yasiel Puig added some insurance with a sixth-inning solo home run against relief pitcher Jared Hughes. The Dodgers this season against the Brewers bullpen have scored 11 runs (10 earned) in 15 innings. Nine of Puig’s 23 home runs this season have been hit off relief pitchers.

The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is nine.

Friday particulars

Home runs: Logan Forsythe (4), Yasiel Puig (23); Domingo Santana (21)

WP - Kenta Maeda (12-5): 6 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

LP - Chase Anderson (7-3): 5 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (35): 1 IP, 1 strikeout