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Kenta Maeda’s Solid Opening Day Overshadowed By Bullpen Struggles


The Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda made his first home start on Tuesday afternoon. (

The LA Dodgers’ Opening Day was more exciting than usual, not only was their rookie RHP Kenta Maeda making his first home opener, but it was the last home opener that legendary Dodgers’ broadcaster Vin Scully would call of his famous career.

The Dodgers took on the Arizona Diamondbacks and their left-hander Patrick Corbin and although Maeda was solid it was the Dodgers’ bullpen that would have a rough day.

A.J. Ellis helped get the Dodgers on the board with a sac bunt off of Corbin to send home Howie Kendrick for a 1-0 lead.

Maeda cruised through six shutout innings; allowing just five hits and one walk while striking out four.

Corbin countered with a solid outing of his own allowing one run off of six hits in six innings of work; walking one and striking out one.

In the top of the seventh with Pedro Baez on the mound for the Dodgers, the D-backs’ Nick Ahmed hit a solo  homerun on a line drive to left field; his second homer of the season to tie the game at 1.

Arizona’s veteran first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt put the D-backs ahead  2-1 in the eighth inning when hit hit a solo homerun on a fly ball to left center off of LA’s Chris Hatcher; Goldschmidt’s third homerun of the season.

The Dodgers’ bullpen just couldn’t find any stability as they turned to Luis Coleman to work the ninth. Coleman first hit Nick Ahmed with a 89 mph fastball to put a runner at first. A triple by Socrates Brito sent Ahmed to score to increase it to a  3-1 D-backs lead. Brito then scored when Goldschmidt grounded out to short, adding a fourth run on the board for Arizona.

With three outs left, the Dodgers would try and rally and rookie Corey Seager would help with that as he hit a leadoff double on a ground ball to left. Seager would tack another on for Arizona when Yasmani Grandal grounded out but, it just wouldn’t be enough for a 4-2 for the Dodgers on Opening Day.

Arizona’s reliever Tyler Clippard earned the win (2-0) and the Dodgers’ reliever Chris Hatcher was charged with the loss (1-1).

Arizona earned just their second win of the season advancing to 2-5 and the Dodgers fall to 4-3.


Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany

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