Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda contributed both on the mound and at the plate Sunday, earning his first win in his past four starts in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Maeda (5-3), who started for the first time in 14 days after losing his spot in the rotation, sparked a three-run second inning with a two-run double off Bronson Arroyo (3-6) as the Dodgers built a 5-0 lead through the third at the Great American Ball Park.
In his defensive role, Maeda did not allow a runner to reach base until Billy Hamilton led off the fourth with a single to left and eventually came around to score on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.
Maeda gave up one run and three hits while compiling five strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter over five innings.
"I did well today," said Maeda, who retired the first three batters on 13 pitches before getting Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler to strike out in back-to-back at-bats in the second.
In the third, he needed just four pitches to get three outs.
"I was able to enter the game on a good note and keep the flow, pitching aggressively. I got ahead in the count with most batters. This is the kind of pitching I want to continue."
At Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, it was a different story for Maeda's Japanese compatriot Yu Darvish who surrendered five runs and eight hits, both his season's worst, as the Texas Rangers were defeated by the Seattle Mariners 7-3.
Darvish (6-5) struck out six and walked one in his 99 pitch effort and was pulled after five innings, matching his shortest outing of the season.
"I couldn't work the pitch count to my advantage, and I was forced into a situation where I had to throw easy pitches where the batters wanted me to," said Darvish.
"If this continues, my reputation will be at risk, so I hope I won't ever give up five runs again."