Dodgers' Kenta Maeda conquers mountain known as Coors Field

DENVER -- Kenta Maeda made Coors Field his personal playground during his first visit to the Mile-High City.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ rookie right-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished his night with 6 1/3 scoreless innings at a ballpark that has been known to give pitchers nightmares. The Dodgers won 4-1.

The only no-hitter at Coors Field came 20 years ago and was crafted by Maeda’s countryman, Hideo Nomo.

The 28-year-old Maeda has been more than the Dodgers could have ever hoped for. He has given up just one run in four career starts, all against National League West foes, and will take a 0.36 ERA into his fifth start Thursday at home against the Miami Marlins.

Pitching with a veteran presence that he refined during his eight seasons professionally in Japan, Maeda changed speeds well, located his pitches and made himself less vulnerable to the conditions at Coors Field, where breaking balls have less bite.

Maeda’s no-hitter was broken up in the sixth inning on a one-out single from DJ LeMahieu. He then loaded the bases on two more singles, but escaped the jam when Nolan Arenado popped out and Gerardo Parra hit a comebacker.

The Dodgers got their offense going early with a first-inning RBI groundout from Adrian Gonzalez and a two-run home run from A.J. Ellis in the second inning. The Rockies spoiled the shutout bid with a Brandon Barnes RBI double in the seventh against reliever Luis Avilan.

Closer Kenley Jansen finished off the victory with his eighth save in eight chances. He has given up three hits and no runs in 8 2/3 innings this season.