The Dodgers saw their win streak snap on one swing of the bat.
Kenta Maeda had a very weird outing against the Orioles very potent offense. This team is full of hitters that live to punish mistakes, indicated by their 128 home runs as a team, five ahead of the Blue Jays, who have the second-most homers in baseball. They crushed a few balls, got a few bloop singles, but all in all Maeda gave the Dodgers four solid innings before running into trouble in the fifth.
In the first, Maeda was saved by Trayce Thompson, who made a jumping catch at the wall to rob Manny Machado of an RBI double. Machado’s out and Hyun Soo Kim‘s double were both scorched, so it was evident early on that he wasn’t fooling anyone.
The Dodgers scratched in the first after Corey Seager extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a double, and Adrian Gonzalez cashed him in with a bloop single. However, the lead was shortlived as Maeda tightroped in the second.
He gave up a walk and a single to start the second with runners on first and third. Jonathan Schoop hit a bloop single to score the runner from third, but Yasiel Puig bailed Maeda out by throwing out Matt Wieters at second. J.J. Hardy came up and immediately grounded into a double play, so much like the first, the second could have gone a lot worse.
It did get a lot worse in the fifth, as Maeda gave up a clean single to Adam Jones and walked Kim to lead off the inning. Machado worked a nice at bat off Maeda, who then hung a curveball, and Machado very much did not miss it.
Maeda looked like he had no confidence in his fastball, and relied heavily on his offspeed stuff. He kept hitters off balance and did a decent job getting soft contact, but when the Orioles squared it up they were teeing off. Machado’s dinger was near Stanton-territory out there in the left field bleachers, putting an end to a rough night for Maeda.
The Dodgers bullpen put in work once again, keeping the Dodgers in the game despite having to throw a lot of innings. Pedro Baez, Louis Coleman, Luis Avilan (who was recalled prior to the game to send Julio Urias back down) and Chris Hatcher held the O’s to two hits in five innings.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers couldn’t figure out the Orioles’ pitching. Chris Tillman held them to a run and five hits in seven innings, but only struck out two batters. Brad Brach, a rare non-closer reliever to be named to the All-Star team, struck out the top of the Dodgers’ order in the eighth and Zach Britton came in throwing his 99 MPH sinkers. Justin Turner nearly hit one out, but the Dodgers wasted an Adrian Gonzalez leadoff single and lost 4-1.
If you want a positive, the Giants bullpen imploded and while I write this, they trail the Rockies 7-3. So at least the Dodgers likely won’t lose a game in the standings. The Dodgers’ win streak ends at five, but at 48-38, they’re still fine.