|Jays aim to prevent Dodgers' 10th home sweep|
The best home team in baseball keeps piling up victories with another series sweep on the horizon Thursday.
The Los Angeles Dodgers recorded their 50th home victory of the season in dramatic fashion Wednesday, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 on a 10th-inning home run from Max Muncy.
Los Angeles now can earn its 10th sweep at Dodger Stadium and third of the second half on Thursday in the finale of the three-game series.
The Dodgers' current .758 home winning percentage would be the best in Los Angeles history, topping the previous best of .704 (57-24), set in 2017. The best home winning percentage in club history is .779 (60-17), set by the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers.
The team's current 15-5 surge has been led largely by the offense. Muncy homered in his fifth consecutive game, tying the franchise record, and rookie Will Smith also went deep Wednesday, his 12th in 28 career games. However, Los Angeles also got seven scoreless innings from right-hander Walker Buehler.
Next up on the mound for the Dodgers is Kenta Maeda (8-8, 4.18 ERA). The veteran right-hander is coming off a nine-strikeout performance at Atlanta on Friday in a no-decision. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings and gave up three runs.
Maeda's most recent home start on Aug. 10 was one of his better outings of the season: He fired seven shutout innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Expect Maeda to trust his fastball more Thursday after he shied away from it early in the start against the Braves.
"He wasn't convicted with it," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Maeda's early fastball use at Atlanta, according to the Los Angeles Times. "And I think it was the fourth inning when he started to kind of go after it and start being on the attack more. You saw the swing-and-miss, and that made his secondaries play up. And that's what we've talked about with him time and time again."
Maeda will be making his second career start against the Blue Jays. He faced them in 2016 at Toronto and gave up two runs on two hits over six innings of a no-decision.
The Blue Jays will counter with rookie right-hander Jacob Waguespack, who is facing the Dodgers for the first time. Waguespack (4-1, 4.20) is coming off a victory at home against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, when he gave up two runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings.
He has started six of his past seven outings, with that one appearance as a reliever coming after an opener when he gave up three runs over 3 2/3 innings to the New York Yankees on Aug. 10.
The Blue Jays might have come away from the first two games of the series empty-handed, but they are getting the big-game experience they were looking for. Bo Bichette hit two home runs against Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday, and Rowdy Tellez hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen on Wednesday.
Still, manager Charlie Montoyo admits that it has been tough to line up his pitching staff against the high-powered Dodgers' offense. He will go into the series finale having used six pitchers Wednesday.
"It is difficult, and it's tough to match up," Montoyo said, according to the Toronto Sun. "And it's not easy when you have to start thinking of the next day."
--Field Level Media