LOS ANGELES — Kenta Maeda wished the longest outing of his major league career was just a little longer.
Maeda pitched into the ninth inning, Cody Bellinger homered and made a tumbling catch in left field and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.
Maeda (3-2) got within two outs of his first career complete game. Francisco Cervelli hit a two-run homer in the ninth, though, and Maeda was pulled a batter later, going 8 1/3 innings while allowing two runs and five hits. He struck out five and left to a rousing ovation.
“Definitely. The home run in the ninth inning was a tough one to swallow,” Maeda said.
His outing was splendid as the Dodgers won their fourth consecutive game.
“He was pounding the strike zone (and) using all quadrants,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I was hoping for him to complete it, but you get to a certain point where you want to make sure you win the game. I didn’t want him to have a sour taste after that brilliant outing.”
Bellinger hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Chad Kuhl (1-3), then got dirty to rob Gregory Polanco of a hit in the fourth. The rookie started in place of injured Andrew Toles, and fans in the left field pavilion chanted “Cody! Cody!” after the tumbling grab.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Bellinger said of hearing his name. “I just stood there and felt awkward. But it was cool.”
Bellinger has six homers and a .315 batting average through his first 14 career games. He’s been excellent filling in for injured Adrian Gonzalez at first base, and may now get regular time in left field after Toles was diagnosed Wednesday with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, which will require season-ending surgery.
Kuhl allowed four runs and six hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out four. He gave up three runs with two outs in the first inning, including that home run to Bellinger.
“It’s a shame what happened in the first inning,” Kuhl said. “It’s just unacceptable.”
The Pirates scored just six runs in the three games and couldn’t figure out how to get to Maeda.
“He let us know right away what he was going to do,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We needed to hit the breaking ball and take that away from him, and we weren’t able to do that. He just kept throwing it and he didn’t throw a lot of fastballs.”
Maeda allowed a leadoff single to Josh Harrison in the ninth, then Cervelli hit a first-pitch homer to left field. Maeda struck out Andrew McCutchen, and then his night was done. Grant Dayton got the final two outs.
HONORING A TEAMMATE
The Pirates wore purple wristbands on Wednesday for the first time honoring their pitcher, Jameson Taillon. The 25-year-old had surgery Monday for what is believed to be testicular cancer.
The inscription said: “JAMO #50.”
“I’m not sure how far-reaching it will end up being,” Hurdle said. “I’m sure there will be a lot of people who ask about it. We received them (Wednesday).
“It’s one way that we can let him know we’re thinking about him all the time.”
WHO IS ON FIRST?
With the Toles injury and Gonzalez still out, second baseman Chase Utley played first base.
“First base is interesting,” Utley said. “You have to figure out balls to go after and balls to let go. I think the more you play over there, the more comfortable you get.”
Pirates: Prospect Kevin Newman was hit in the head by a 94 mph pitch during Double-A Altoona’s game in Richmond, Virginia. Newman walked off the field, and Curve manager Michael Ryan told MiLB.com that Newman does not have a concussion. Newman was Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in the 2015 draft.
Dodgers: LHP Adam Liberatore (left groin strain) was placed on the 10-day disabled list along with Toles. The Dodgers activated OFs Scott Van Slyke and Brett Eibner. … LHP Rich Hill (blister) pitched five shutout innings in a rehab start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga and did not allow a hit.
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (1-3, 3.14 ERA) faces Zack Greinke in Arizona on Thursday. In his last outing, he allowed just one run and two hits while striking out eight in seven innings. He didn’t get the decision as the Pirates won in extra innings.
Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-4, 4.05 ERA) will pitch Thursday for the first time since coming off the 10-day disabled list with a hip contusion. Ryu struck out nine in his last start, but his ERA and six home runs allowed in 26 2/3 innings is of concern, especially in Colorado.
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