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MLB: Maeda moved to bullpen, Makita called up from minors

In this July 11, 2018 photo, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, of Japan, works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

LOS ANGELES (Kyodo) -- Kenta Maeda was reassigned as a reliever Sunday as the Los Angeles Dodgers attempt to bolster their bullpen and make room for Ryu Hyun Jin, who is returning to the roster after a two-month stint on the disabled list with a left groin strain.

Maeda, who has gone 7-7 with a 3.80 ERA as a starter for the Dodgers this season, will shift to relief duties along with righty Ross Stripling in absence of closer Kenley Jansen, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday with an irregular heartbeat, according to

Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said he sees the 30-year-old Japanese, who will be available as a reliever starting Wednesday, pitching one to three innings in high-leverage situations.

"He has a lot of pride and confidence, which we would expect. But the sell was that we have a lot of good players, and we have to assess what is going to help us win baseball games," Roberts said, according to

"Right now, that's where we're at. He was completely open to it, and he gave me his thoughts, which were he sees himself as a starter, which I appreciate, but right now, this is the direction we're going."

Maeda was tagged with his seventh loss of the season on Aug. 5 when the Houston Astros handed the National League West second-place holders a 14-0 defeat. He was winless in his last four starts, giving up a combined 25 hits and 16 runs, including five homers.

Elsewhere for Japan, submarine right-hander Kazuhisa Makita was called up from Triple-A El Paso and closed out the ninth inning of the San Diego Padres' 9-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Petco Park without giving up a run.

The 33-year-old reliever has struggled in his major league debut season, having been sent down to the Padres' minor league affiliate for the fourth time. He is 0-1 with a 6.83 ERA over 24 games.

At Angel Stadium, Shohei Ohtani went 1-for-5 and drove in two runs in a late effort as the Los Angeles Angels suffered an 8-7 loss to the Oakland Athletics.

With two outs in the eighth and the Angels trailing by three, Ohtani hit a line drive to left to score Kole Calhoun and Justin Upton but was left stranded when cleanup man Albert Pujols grounded out.

The 24-year-old rookie struck out three times and grounded out in his other plate appearances.

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