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Cory Spangenberg

Kenta Maeda hits a home run, pitches Dodgers to 7-0 victory over Padres

Kenta Maeda hits a home run, pitches Dodgers to 7-0 victory over Padres

The baseball drifted and drifted toward the left-field corner, its flight awakening the Dodgers dugout. Kenta Maeda sprinted out of the batter's box but slowed as he approached second base. With one swing, he launched his team's first home run of the season and created the year's first moment of unbridled joy.

The rest of the team erupted after the ball landed in the seats in the fourth inning of a 7-0 sweep-clinching victory over the San Diego Padres. Clayton Kershaw thrust his arms skyward and howled. Carl Crawford cracked up. Yasiel Puig applauded from the top step.

The group steadied itself as Maeda trotted the bases. His teammates hung back on the bench, feigning...

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