LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kenta Maeda fell into a 3-0 hole in the first inning of his first start for the Dodgers in two weeks coming off the disabled list.
Then, the Japanese right-hander rallied Los Angeles to a 7-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night in the series finale.
Maeda (4-2) drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a two-out single in the fourth off Michael Wacha and turned an inning-ending double play in the fifth to help the Dodgers take two of three from the Cardinals.
Maeda allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings, struck out four and walked two.
He missed 13 games with a tight left hamstring while on the DL since May 11. Maeda got off to a rocky start in his return, giving up Jedd Gyorko’s two-run double and Yadier Molina’s RBI single in the first.
The Dodgers took over from there.
Chase Utley homered for the first time this season leading off the second.
Yasiel Puig’s two-out single in the fourth made it 3-2 before Maeda’s two-run single gave the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. He was out stretching at second.
Maeda hit Matt Carpenter in the left foot leading off the fifth. With one out, Maeda started an inning-ending double play when Molina grounded to the mound. Maeda turned and fired to shortstop Corey Seager, who stepped on second base ahead of Carpenter and then got Molina at first.
Maeda turned it over to Hyun-Jin Ryu in a rare appearance out of the bullpen and the South Korean earned his first save of the season. Ryu is 2-5 with a 4.75 ERA as a starter this season. He was removed from the rotation after a 7-2 win over Miami on May 18.
Wacha (2-2) gave up six runs and seven hits in four-plus innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked two.
He left after allowing a leadoff single to Chris Taylor and walking Seager in the fifth.
Brett Cecil came on in relief and struggled with his control. Taylor and Seager moved up on his first wild pitch. Cecil’s second wild pitch led to Taylor scoring and Seager taking third. Adrian Gonzalez’s double drove in Seager for a 6-3 lead.
Taylor’s RBI double extended the Dodgers’ lead to 7-3 in the sixth.
Dodgers: CF Joc Pederson went on the seven-day concussion DL. He was hurt in a violent warning track collision with Puig on Tuesday. Initially, the team said Pederson passed a concussion protocol test and wasn’t expected to go on the DL. However, manager Dave Roberts said Pederson experienced “fogginess” on Wednesday. The team also needed a roster spot with the return of Maeda. … LHP Luis Avilan went on the 10-day DL with left triceps soreness. … LHP Adam Liberatore was reinstated from the 10-day DL after he missed 14 games with a left groin strain.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (3-3, 3.28 ERA) makes his team-leading 10th start Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Colorado. He’s 2-0 with a 6.97 ERA in seven career games, including three starts, against the Rockies. He’s won both of his starts at Coors Field, with a 3.18 ERA and 10 strikeouts.
Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (5-0, 1.88) starts Friday’s opener of a three-game series against the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. He allowed two runs (one earned) and three hits in 3 2/3 innings of his last start against them on April 10, when he didn’t factor in the decision of a 3-2 loss. Wood is 1-2 in seven career games, including four starts, against the Cubs, with a 3.57 ERA and 28 strikeouts.
(@Copyright 2017. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may bot be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)