Dodgers’ Maeda looks to continue success against Rockies

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda will take the mound Saturday against a Colorado Rockies team that he has had success against over the past three years.

Colorado Rockies starter German Marquez will take the mound Saturday on the road, where he has been excellent outside of the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

Something has to give at Dodger Stadium in a nationally televised game, when Dodgers right-hander Maeda (5-4, 3.44 ERA) faces off against Rockies right-hander Marquez (5-8, 5.53).

The Rockies won the first game of the series 3-1 on Friday, and Maeda will try halt the Dodgers’ two-game losing streak.

Since returning from the disabled list after being sidelined by a hip strain, Maeda has posted a 2.87 ERA over three starts, including a scoreless seven-inning outing Monday against the Chicago Cubs when he struck out nine and picked up the win.

The nine strikeouts were reminiscent of his best stretch of the season before his injury, when he struck out 32 batters over 24 1/3 innings, including a season-best 12 strikeouts in 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Rockies on May 23.

“Ever since coming off the DL, feeling-wise, this is the best I have felt,” Maeda said through an interpreter, after holding the Cubs in check during a 2-1 Dodgers victory Monday. “Overall it was a much better feeling coming into this game than the other ones.”

Especially troublesome for the Rockies is that Maeda figures to be fresh for Saturday’s outing, having thrown just 84 pitches in his latest start. Then there is this: Maeda is 5-2 in eight career appearances (six starts) with a 2.11 ERA against the Rockies with 48 strikeouts.

Marquez has struggled lately, having gone 1-4 in June with an 8.53 ERA, but there is no doubting his road success this year. He has a 7.93 ERA at home, but that mark falls off dramatically to 3.07 in 41 innings on the road. In fact, the Rockies have won four of Marquez’s seven road starts this season.

Marquez is 1-0 with a 3.91 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers.

His two outings against them this season have been a mixed bag. On May 21 in Los Angeles, Marquez gave up one run over seven innings in a 2-1 Rockies victory. On June 2 at Colorado, he gave up four runs over six innings, although he didn’t factor into the decision as the Dodgers rolled to a 12-4 victory.

In his four starts since then, Marquez has given up at least five runs in each time. He gave up a combined 10 runs (nine earned) in his last two starts, both of which came at home.

“I know I have been in the league two years and if I execute my pitches, it doesn’t matter how long they have known me,” Marquez told reporters, through an interpreter, after he gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings in an eventual 8-5 loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday. “It’s about me executing my pitches.

Marquez will face a Dodgers team that has 54 home runs in June, the most in franchise history for a single month.