Stanton, Marlins top Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig and Trayce Thompson homered in the fourth inning for the Dodgers, but it was not enough to withstand single runs by the Marlins in the three middle innings, and the Dodgers fell to Miami on Monday in their series opener, 3-2.

The Dodger bullpen pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings, but the difference-maker was Derek Dietrich’s RBI triple in the sixth inning off Ross Stripling, who lost his first MLB decision. Stripling allowed eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings, and his ERA is now 3.22.

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Dodgers exchange Luis for Louis

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Marlins at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 3B
Yasmani Grandal, 1B
Trayce Thompson, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Charlie Culberson, SS
Ross Stripling, P

By Jon Weisman

Louis Coleman is returning from his bereavement leave to the Dodger bullpen, with Luis Avilan returning to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Coleman, who last pitched April 19, has allowed four runs, four hits and four walks in five innings for the Dodgers, with three strikeouts.

Avilan pitched in all three games the Dodgers just played in Colorado. He struck out the only batter he faced Friday, gave up a hit (and a run) among the two batters he faced Saturday and allowed two hits and two walks (one intentional) against four batters Sunday.

Carl Crawford is expected to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday, Dave Roberts said today.

Guns N’ Roses to play Dodger Stadium on August 18

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Guns N’ Roses will bring its “Not in This Lifetime” tour, produced by Live Nation, to Dodger Stadium for one night, August 18. A 48-hour pre-sale for Citi cardmembers begins Tuesday at 10 a.m., with tickets for the general public going on sale beginning Friday.

The Dodgers will be in the middle of a seven-game road trip to Philadelphia and Cincinnati, returning home to play the Giants from August 23-25, followed by the Cubs from August 26-28.

— Jon Weisman

Rick Monday: An American hero

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By Mark Langill

Arguably the greatest moment in the history of Dodger Stadium doesn’t belong to a Dodger. It wasn’t a big hit or dominating pitching performance. It wasn’t a spectacular catch of a baseball or a clutch stolen base that changed the momentum of a playoff series.

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Dodgers take another series with another mad, mad Coors Field game

By Cary Osborne

Oh Coors Field. You did it again.

You giveth and you keep on giving.

The Dodgers and Rockies have had 10 games at Coors Field where both teams have scored double figures. So Sunday’s 12-10 Dodger win wasn’t completely out of the ordinary. And at this point you sort of figure something crazy’s going to happen when the Dodgers play in Denver.

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Never-an-All-Star Kenley Jansen off to dominant start

San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers at Rockies, 1:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Trayce Thompson, LF
Alex Wood, P

By Jon Weisman

Remarkable in one sense — and yet sadly understandable in another, given his relative anonymity outside of Los Angeles — Kenley Jansen has never been to an All-Star Game.

This year — look out.

Not only does Jansen, who celebrated his 150th career save Saturday, lead the Major Leagues in saves with eight, he has done so with authority. He has faced 29 batters and retired 26 of them, allowing two singles and a double while striking out nine and walking none.

No one has scored on his watch. Facing those 29 batters, he has had exactly 29 pitches called balls.

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Election ’16: Vote Dodgers for the All-Star Game now

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By Cary Osborne

The polls are open.

Today is the first official day fans can vote for Dodgers for the 87th All-Star Game via MLB.com and all 30 Major League club sites, including dodgers.com/vote. Fans can vote up to 35 times (with a maximum of five valid ballots cast in any 24-hour period), and it is the second season in a row where voting will be conducted exclusively online.

Of the eight Dodgers on the ballot, released today, for the July 12 All-Star Game in San Diego, six have been selected to a previous Midsummer Classic, and together they have tallied 15 All-Star Games.

Justin Turner, who was statistically one of the best third basemen in baseball from 2014-15 (first in batting average: .327, on-base percentage: .915, and OPS: .915, among third basemen, minimum 550 at-bats), and rookie Corey Seager are the only Dodgers on the ballot who have yet to be an All-Star.

Chase Utley (six) and Adrian Gonzalez (five) lead the Dodgers in selections, followed by one-timers Yasmani Grandal, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Howie Kendrick.

Kendrick, who has five starts in left field in 2016, is on the All-Star ballot for the first time as an outfielder.

The Dodgers had five All-Stars last year in Cincinnati — Clayton Kershaw, Gonzalez, Grandal, Pederson and Zack Greinke. Pederson became the first Dodger rookie to start in an All-Star Game. He was inserted into the starting lineup after Matt Holliday had to pull out with an injury.

Puig (2014) was the last Dodger elected by the fans to All-Star Team.

The legend grows: Kenta Maeda flirts with no-hitter

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

There’s always a thrill whenever any pitcher is working on a no-hitter, that clickety-clack as he takes you up the rise of the roller coaster, each moment of anticipation adding to the whooshing reward.

When it’s your guy, it’s even more of a wild ride. And when your guy is a guy who is now verging on his own kind of Fernando-Hideo frenzy, well, lock down your valuables and keep your hands inside the car.

In his fourth Major League game tonight in Colorado, Kenta Maeda went 5 1/3 innings without allowing a hit, setting the stage for him to duplicate the no-hit effort achieved two decades ago by his countryman Nomo, before finishing with eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 shutout innings.

Maeda, as Cary Osborne presaged in his pregame writeup, is the first starting pitcher in MLB history to allow fewer than two runs across his first four starts. His ERA, with a trip to the Mile High City under his belt, is now an unreal 0.36, with 23 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings against 23 baserunners.

Despite pitching for the first time in his life at the big leagues’ toughest ballpark, Maeda could hardly have been more sharp. In the first four innings, he faced 13 batters and threw first-pitch strikes to all of them, walking one and retiring the other 12, with six strikeouts and only one ball even leaving the infield.

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Yimi Garcia heads to DL, Zach Lee recalled

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Yimi Garcia has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right biceps soreness by the Dodgers, who have recalled right-hander Zach Lee to take his roster spot.

Garcia, tied with Chris Hatcher for the team lead in games pitched with nine and innings with 8 1/3, has allowed 11 baserunners this season while striking out four. In his big-league career, Garcia has struck out 9.7 per nine innings with a 0.94 WHIP.

Lee has a 1.56 ERA in 17 1/3 innings (three starts) for Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing 22 hits but walking only one while striking out 14. He was scheduled to start tonight in Iowa, but is with the Dodgers now as a long reliever.

Scott Kazmir said he doesn’t expect to miss his next start despite “minor discomfort where the thumb meets the wrist,” according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Also, Louis Coleman returns from his bereavement leave Monday.

By the way, Dave Roberts told reporters Friday that Mike Bolsinger, whose bid for the Dodger starting rotation was thwarted by a strained oblique muscle a month ago, has begun throwing off a mound.

Justin Turner has a bruised toe but is available to pinch hit, according to Gurnick.

Kenta Maeda is authoring his own special story

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.14.04 PM

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Kenta Maeda, P

By Cary Osborne 

By now you know the story of the Rockies shortstop Trevor (Story) and his incredible first four games (six home runs). The pitcher he is facing today has the opportunity to write his own incredible four-game legend.

Kenta Maeda has allowed one earned run in his first three starts/19 innings. It has Owen Watson of Fangraphs already thinking of Fernando Valenzuela’s rookie season. Valenzuela began the 1981 season with five consecutive complete games. He allowed just one earned run in the 45 innings. Valenzuela allowed four earned runs in his first 72 innings.

As you see in Watson’s article, Maeda has quite a ways to go to reach El Toro, and there are dozens of pitchers above him in the category of pitchers with most consecutive games started with one earned run or less to start their career.

Here’s where Maeda differs from many of them. Maeda began his Major League career as a starter. Valenzuela pitched 10 games in relief in 1980.

No pitcher whose first four games were as a starter has allowed less than two earned runs with a minimum of 20 innings pitched.

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