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Dodgers offense shows signs of life to beat Giants

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MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers saw a relative explosion of offense on Saturday night in their 5-0 win of the Giants, picking up their first win of the year.

Both Dodgers goose eggs were taken care of in the first inning. Kiké Hernandez doubled to center field for the club’s first extra-base hit of the season, and put runners at second and third base with nobody out. A sacrifice fly by Yasiel Puig gave their Dodgers their first run, and a single by Matt Kemp made for an embarrassment of riches, an early 2-0 lead.

Taylor tripled in the third inning and scored on a Hernandez sacrifice fly, then the Dodgers cashed in a pair of walks in the fourth when center fielder Gregor Blanco and right fielder Andrew McCutchen had a miscommunication on what should have been an easy inning-ending fly out by Kyle Farmer. Instead the ball dropped and the lead was pushed to 5-0.

Sure there were only four hits on the night for the Dodgers but two were for extra bases. After a pair of 1-0 losses, Saturday’s offense was a welcome relief for LA.

Great start for starters

Kenta Maeda continued the run of strong Dodgers pitching to open the season, with five scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out 10, more than any single start last year and three shy of his career high set in 2016. Saturday was the second double-digit strikeout game of Maeda’s career.

Dodgers starting pitchers have allowed one run in 19 innings so far this season. This is just the fourth time in the last 111 years the Dodgers have opened the year with three consecutive starting pitchers allowing zero or one run. It’s the third time they have done so in the last five seasons, last turning the truck (with a scoreless first three games) in 2016.

Dodgers starters allowing 0-1 run in first 3 games

Year Pitchers IP Runs Record
Year Pitchers IP Runs Record
1986 Valenzuela, Hersisher, Welch 27 2 2-1
2014 Kershaw, Ryu, Ryu 18⅔ 1 2-1
2016 Kershaw, Kazmir, Maeda 19 0 3-0
2018 Kershaw, Wood, Maeda 19 1 1-2
1908-2018 Source: Baseball-Reference

Defensive gems

Farmer made his first major league start at third base on Saturday and made his presence felt to open the second inning, robbing Evan Longoria with this diving stab and strong throw across the diamond:

Then in the seventh Logan Forsythe, one night after making an uncharacteristic three errors at third base, made a few stellar plays at second base, including this one to end the seventh inning, ranking far to his right:

Up next

The Dodgers finish off the four-game series against the Giants on Sunday night, with a 5:30 p.m. PT start and a return engagement with ESPN, exclusively. Rich Hill starts the series finale for Los Angeles, facing right-hander Chris Stratton for San Francisco.

Saturday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Kenta Maeda (1-0): 5 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts

LP - Derek Holland (0-1): 5 IP, 3 hits, 5 runs (3 earned), 3 walks, 4 strikeouts