Baseball / MLB

Maeda struggles as Dodgers fall against Cubs

Kyodo, AP

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda took his second loss of the season after a nightmare start Tuesday, giving up six runs in a 7-2 defeat to the Chicago Cubs.

Maeda surrendered four runs in the first inning at Wrigley Field as the Cubs took an early lead.

Maeda (3-2) loaded the bases on a walk before giving up a three-RBI double to Willson Contreras. Daniel Descalso drove in a fourth with a double that scored Contreras.

Maeda continued to struggle with his pitch placement in the second inning, allowing a two-run homer to Anthony Rizzo.

The former Hiroshima Carp ace came out after four innings, having given up six earned runs on seven hits and three walks. He struck out five.

“I made too many mistakes. Despite getting into a strong position, became impatient,” Maeda said. “I hoped to have a longer game, but I gave up too many hits and couldn’t stay out there.”

The six runs were the most allowed by the right-hander since he was charged with a career-high seven in an 8-1 loss at Arizona on Aug. 31, 2017.

“He just didn’t have his fastball command,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Starter Jose Quintana (3-1) got the win for the Cubs after a seven-inning outing.

“He was once again on top of his game,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Great focus, kept coming back with good pitches.”

Los Angeles wasted a couple of late chances to get back in the game. Pinch hitter Max Muncy struck out looking on Quintana’s 114th pitch, stranding two runners in the seventh. A.J. Pollock struck out and Cody Bellinger grounded out with the bases loaded in the eighth.

“We had chance to scratch our way back into the game, but we didn’t get that big hit,” Roberts said.

The Dodgers remained on top of the National League West with a 1½-game lead over the Diamondbacks.

Mets 9, Phillies 0

In New York, Zack Wheeler hit his first major league home run and struck out 11 in seven sharp innings as the Mets handed Philadelphia its fifth loss in six games.

The only spirit the Phillies showed came with two outs in the ninth when two fastballs by Mets reliever Jacob Rhame sailed over Rhys Hoskins’ head. The benches started to clear after the first time, and Hoskins angrily slung his bat after the next one, which was the fourth ball.

A career .129 hitter, Wheeler (2-2) lined a two-run double in the second off Zach Eflin (2-3). The next time up, Wheeler did even better, launching a drive over the wall in left-center.

Cardinals 4, Brewers 3

In St. Louis, Paul DeJong hit a tiebreaking, leadoff homer in the eighth inning, Yadier Molina had three hits and two RBIs and the Cardinals earned a win over Milwaukee.

The Brewers had three solo homers, two by Travis Shaw and another by Orlando Arcia.

Tigers 7, Red Sox 4 (1st)

Tigers 4, Red Sox 2 (2nd)

In Boston, Chris Sale remained winless after five starts but struck out a season-high 10 in five innings as Detroit beat the Red Sox to start their first doubleheader sweep at Fenway Park since August 1965.

In the nightcap, Spencer Turnbull (1-2) pitched five shutout innings for his first major league win, leading the Tigers to a victory that left the World Series champions at 9-15.

Rays 5, Royals 2

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Jalen Beeks took over from opener Ryne Stanek in the second and struck out seven in 4 shutout innings, Mike Zunino homered for the second straight game and the Rays sent Kansas City to its fifth straight loss.

Homer Bailey (2-2) failed in his attempt to win three straight starts for the first time in five years, getting taken out after Tampa Bay’s first four batters reached in the second inning.

In Other Games

Yankees 7, Angels 5

Astros 10, Twins 4

Athletics 11, Rangers 5

Orioles 9, White Sox 1

Padres 6, Mariners 3

Giants 7, Blue Jays 6

Marlins 3, Indians 1

Reds 7, Braves 6

Diamondbacks 2, Pirates 1

Nationals 6, Rockies 3