Maeda K's 13 Padres, leads Dodgers to victory

Maeda K's 13 Padres, leads Dodgers to victory

LOS ANGELES -- Kenta Maeda struck out a season-high 13 and Adrian Gonzalez homered for the first time since June 11 as the Dodgers went into the All-Star break with a 3-1 win over the Padres on Sunday.

Maeda gave the stressed bullpen a break by pitching seven innings, the first Dodgers starter to pitch that deep into a game since Clayton Kershaw's seven-inning start June 20, and the first non-Kershaw start into the seventh since May 14. Kenley Jansen allowed a base hit and a walk and needed 30 pitches, but he closed the door to earn his 27th save.

Outstanding outing by Maeda saves Dodgers' bullpen

"We finished strong on a three-game winning streak and when we come back, we have to just keep playing better," said Jansen, an All-Star for the first time. "It's time to go, time to make the playoffs."

Maeda allowed two hits, one a home run in the fifth inning by Derek Norris, without a walk. Between the fifth and seventh innings, he fanned six consecutive batters. The other San Diego hit was Alex Dickerson's second-inning single. Howie Kendrick doubled, singled twice, drove in a run and scored one for the Dodgers, while Yasmani Grandal and Scott Van Slyke had two hits each.

Maeda's 13 K's earn him the win

"The last month for Howie has been very good," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "If we can get Howie and versatility going offensively, it just adds to the length of the lineup."

Padres starter Christian Friedrich broke a streak of four straight starts with at least four earned runs, but not by much. The lefty allowed three runs while striking out seven in five innings, but a "poorly executed" slider to Gonzalez, according to Friedrich, meant he would leave the game down two runs.

"We went inside a little bit more than I had," Friedrich said. "Used the changeup off of it and got some good sliders down and in today, especially after getting guys inside. Sequencing was pretty good towards the end. I think in the beginning, I fell behind."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
No break for the All-Star: Jansen has pitched four of the past five games with three saves, including Sunday's 30-pitch ordeal in which, after allowing the first two batters to reach base, he struck out Wil Myers and Matt Kemp then got Yangervis Solarte on a flyout.

"Give credit to those hitters, they made me work today," said Jansen. "I was lucky enough to make pitches and get out of it. It's a great test for me. I know it's not pretty, but I got out of it."

Jansen shuts the door

Derek's dinger: Norris' home run was the only bit of a noise in a quiet day for the Padres' offense. The catcher took a hanging curveball from Maeda and ripped it 421 feet into the left-field bleachers, bringing San Diego within a run of tying the game. However, Gonzalez's homer in the next half-inning immediately put the Dodgers back up by two.

Norris now sits at 12 home runs, a career high going into the All-Star break. Since June 6, Norris is hitting .260 with seven home runs in 30 games.

Leading man: Kendrick, filling in for second baseman Chase Utley as the leadoff hitter, got the Dodgers started with a first-inning double, scored their first run and singled in their second run off Friedrich.

"It's good to see a bunch of different guys chipping in, guys waking up the bats," said Kendrick, who is batting .322 since June 13. "I always say in the second half, you've got to get rolling. Right now the guys are in a good place. It's exciting to see. Going into the second half, we couldn't ask for a better spot."

Kendrick's RBI single

Glimmer of hope: The Padres didn't go quietly when Jansen came in to pitch the ninth, putting runners on first and second with none out and three of their top hitters up to bat. However, that seemed to wake Jansen up, as he then struck out Myers and Kemp before Solarte flied out to end the game. Myers' strikeout provided an ignominious end for a series in which the All-Star and Home Run Derby participant went 2-for-17 with seven strikeouts.

"I wouldn't read too much into a series," Padres manager Andy Green said. "They flipped him early, slowed him down, and blew fastballs by him for the most part, which is rare for him. He kind of allowed himself to be slowed down by swinging at so much offspeed early in the counts instead of sitting on the fastball, which he's done so well this year."

QUOTABLE
"Four days off is as good as it gets." -- Gonzalez, on the upcoming All-Star break

WHAT'S NEXT
Padres: Drew Pomeranz was initially scheduled as San Diego's first starter out of the All-Star break, but his selection to the All-Star Game means Andrew Cashner will get the start Friday against the Giants at 7:40 p.m. PT.

Dodgers: Bud Norris is a curious call as the starting pitcher for the Dodgers' first game after the break on Friday at 6:40 p.m. PT in Arizona. He is 0-7 with a 13.92 ERA in his career against the D-backs and 0-4 at Chase Field. Norris last pitched July 7 against his former team, the Orioles, allowing two runs in five innings.

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Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Padres on Sunday.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.