"I just thought that he wasn't being as aggressive as I think he could've been," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He had a lot of punches. ... There was a stretch where he struck out [six] in a row."
Having struggled in his first four starts of the season, in which he gave up 17 runs over 19 innings and lost two of the four games, Maeda is trending in a positive direction.
Prior to Friday's game, Roberts said he was looking for more of what Maeda showed in his last start, and the right-hander delivered.
Maeda did not surrender a hit until the fourth inning, when Cory Spangenberg led off with a double. Prior to that at-bat, Maeda struck out six straight Padres. Spangenberg eventually scored as San Diego tied the game at 1-1, and Manuel Margot's sacrifice fly added a run in the fifth. Maeda walked Wil Myers to lead off the sixth before Roberts replaced him with Luis Avilan.
"For me, I was going to give [Maeda] the opportunity to go farther into the game," Roberts said. "But when I saw four straight balls to Myers, it was time to go get Avilan."
The Dodgers offense did little to support Maeda before he exited, as Cody Bellinger's solo home run represented the only run for LA against San Diego starter Jhoulys Chacin.
Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego. He covered the Dodgers on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.