Maeda magic for Dodgers; Cubs beaten

Kenta Maeda continued his excellent start to the season after the Los Angeles Dodgers saw off the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.

Maeda struck out eight over 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball to lead the Dodgers to a 4-1 win, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning before DJ LeMahieu broke it up with a single.

Maeda, an off-season import from Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan, is now 4-0 with an MLB-leading 0.36 ERA to start the season.

AJ Ellis hit a two-run homer to fuel the Dodgers’ offence as they extended their lead at the top of the NL West.

The Washington Nationals took over as the team with the best record in baseball as they beat the Minnesota Twins 2-0 to move to 13-4.

Tanner Roark struck out a career-high 15 while Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run single in the first.

The Nationals took over from the Chicago Cubs, who slipped to 13-5 as they lost 13-5 to the Cincinnati Reds, who snapped an eight-game losing streak against their NL Central rivals.

Eugenio Suarez and Adam Duvall both hit three-run homers in a seven-run sixth inning which swung the game Cincinnati’s way.

Back-to-back homers from Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera helped the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 8-2, while the Philadelphia Phillies topped the Milwaukee Brewers 10-6 as Maikel Franco stayed hot with his third home run in two games.

Stephen Piscotty, Jeremy Hazelbaker and Jedd Gyorko went deep as the St Louis Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 11-2, while Jake Peavy helped himself with two RBI in a 7-2 win for the San Francisco Giants against the Miami Marlins.

The Arizona Diamondbacks scored five runs in the eighth to make sure of a 7-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In the American League, the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 in extra innings to stretch their lead in the AL Central, helped by the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles beating the Kansas City Royals 8-3 behind four RBI from Mark Trumbo.

Brett Gardner’s walk-off home run gave the New York Yankees a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, while Colby Rasmus hit a grand slam as the Houston Astros beat the Boston Red Sox 8-3.

Troy Tulowitzki hit a pair of homers as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Oakland Athletics 9-3, and Yan Gomes drove in five runs to help the Cleveland Indians rout the Detroit Tigers 10-1.

Homers from Cliff Pennington and Mike Trout helped the Los Angeles Angels beat Seattle 4-2, spoiling the night of Felix Hernandez as he overtook from Randy Johnson with the most strikeouts in Mariners history – 2,166 and counting.