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Dodgers’ Maeda finishes strong after shaky start in loss to Mariners

AP

Kenta Maeda retired 14 of 15 batters after giving up two runs in the first inning and Justin Turner hit his first homer of the spring in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 6-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

Maeda allowed four hits over five innings, including a double and two singles to the first three batters he faced. He finished with two earned runs allowed and five strikeouts.

Maeda had the advantage over Hisashi Iwakuma, who worked 4 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on eight hits.

The two had never faced each other in Japan.

“This was fun,” Maeda said through an interpreter after his fourth spring start. “Today was a little bit more exciting than a usual start.”

Turner, who also had a pair of doubles, hit a home off Iwakuma in the first.

“Good at-bats,” Iwakuma said through an interpreter. “He made me pay. The home run was a curveball down in the zone. I thought it was a good pitch, but he stayed on it.

“The second and third at-bats, the ball was up. Those two pitches, I could have executed better. But he still put a good swing on it.”

Nelson Cruz put the Mariners on top with a three-run homer off Dodgers left-hander Luis Avilan in the sixth.

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Mariners: Iwakuma agreed to a free agent deal with the Dodgers in December, but it fell apart because the Dodgers had medical concerns after Iwakuma underwent a physical.

“I have no feelings toward the past,” Iwakuma said. “This is just another game.”

Dodgers: Maeda has a 1.32 ERA in four starts with 13 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.