Kenta Maeda perfect for five innings but unravels in sixth as Dodgers lose, 6-1
DETROIT – Kenta Maeda took a perfect game into the sixth inning before unraveling as the Dodgers lost to the Detroit Tigers 6-1 Sunday afternoon.
Maeda retired the first 15 batters he faced in order before giving up three consecutive hits (including a two-run double by No. 9 hitter Dixon Machado). Three batters later, he gave up a two-run home run to Justin Upton.
As good as Maeda was for five innings, Tigers starter Justin Verlander was right there with him.
Verlander retired the first 13 Dodgers he faced before walking Yasiel Puig with one out in the fifth inning to end the dueling perfect games.
An inning later, Curtis Granderson golfed a 2-and-2 slider from his former teammate off the right-field foul pole for his first hit as a Dodger and the first run of the game. In his three at-bats against Verlander, Granderson made him throw 20 pitches, striking out twice and hitting the home run.
That was all the Dodgers could do against Verlander who allowed one more hit in eight innings.
Amid constant speculation that he will be traded before the deadline for post-season eligibility – with the Houston Astros or Chicago Cubs the most likely destinations – Verlander has posted a 2.36 ERA and 0.98 WHIP while holding opposing batters to a .189 average over his past nine starts. Tigers fans unsure if any start might be his last for the team gave him a brief standing ovation when he left the mound after the eighth inning.
The Tigers tacked on two runs in the eighth inning when center fielder Kike’ Hernandez shied away from Miguel Cabrera’s drive near the warning track in right center as Puig closed in. The ball fell between the two Dodgers outfielders for a two-run double.
For the Dodgers, the loss snapped a six-game winning streak. It was their sixth winning streak of at least six games this season.
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