Ellis said Maeda was able to adjust after one batter. That’s easier said than done, and Ellis credited Maeda’s athleticism for the quick adjustment.“He reminds me of Hyun-Jin Ryu, his athleticism. Zack Greinke, his athleticism,” Ellis said. “Those guys have tremendous feel for pitching. They make the spin do different things. They range their velocities — somebody like (Clayton) Kershaw who’s just coming at you. That bully who just keeps coming and coming and coming. These guys are going to mix and match, and pitch off feel, and trust their athleticism on the mound.”The Rockies put one runner on base via a walk until D.J. LeMahieu stroked a clean single to center field with one out in the sixth. Two more singles loaded the bases for Nolan Arenado and Gerardo Parra, the Rockies’ third and fourth hitters.Suddenly, there was a game at stake.“I had a four-run lead,” Maeda said. “I trusted A.J.’s demand for certain pitches. I executed.”Arenado, who hit 43 home runs last year, popped up weakly. Parra hit a dribbler back to the mound and Maeda flipped the ball to Ellis for the third out, his shutout preserved.Maeda got a big assist from left fielder Kiké Hernandez, who made a diving, over-the-shoulder catch to rob Tony Wolters of an extra-base hit in the fifth inning.The Rockies got their only run in the seventh on an RBI double by Brandon Barnes against Joe Blanton. The run was charged to Luis Avilan.The Dodgers got to Redlands native Tyler Chatwood (2-2) in the first inning, when Corey Seager singled, Yasiel Puig doubled, and Adrian Gonzalez poked a chopper over the pitcher’s mound to score Seager.In the second inning, Ellis turned on a knee-high fastball over the inside corner and crushed it to left field for a two-run home run. The home run was estimated at 445 feet, the second-longest by a Dodger player this season and Ellis’ first of the season.The Dodgers were still leading 3-0 in the sixth inning when Maeda helped his own cause. With Ellis on first base and one out, the pitcher was asked to bunt. He did, spinning out of the way of the pitch as the ball bounced back to the mound. Ellis reached second base and scored when the next hitter, Chase Utley, hit a double just beyond the reach of left fielder Ryan Raburn.Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his eighth save of the season in as many tries, and the 150th save of his career.For Maeda’s opponents, Saturday’s start added a page to his still-thin scouting report. The league still has five months and one week to adjust to Maeda’s machinations before the 2016 regular season ends.But the game also showed that Maeda can adjust quickly — in this case to the elements of elevation, and against a stout offense.“For 95 pitches you’ve got to be mentally tough to throw every pitch with conviction,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “and he did that tonight.” Then there are the other heralded Japanese pitching transplants, from Masahiro Tanaka and Yu Darvish this decade to Kazuhisa Ishii and Hideo Nomo before them. Four starts into his career, Maeda has outperformed them all.In fact, Maeda matched a major league record (since 1900) by allowing only one run in his first four starts according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Jorge Campillo, Fernando Valenzuela and George McQuillan are the only other pitchers to accomplish the feat.Among his peers, Maeda is in a category all to himself.“First time in this environment. First time pitching at Coors Field. First time against that offensive firepower they have over there,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “I can’t say enough about what Kenta was able to do tonight. It was beyond impressive.”Maeda walked only one batter and struck out eight, a new career high. Like many pitchers, his slider and curveball didn’t break as sharply out of his hand, a caveat of pitching at elevation. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error DENVER >> One game at a time, Kenta Maeda is forcing his way out of every category he found himself in when he signed an eight-year contract with the Dodgers in January.Pitcher Scott Kazmir has a higher guaranteed salary this year, but Maeda has overshadowed him and every other free agent the Dodgers signed.Four other pitchers made the Dodgers’ Opening Day rotation, but with a few exceptions their performances have been dwarfed by the Japanese rookie. Maeda lowered his earned-run average to 0.36 by throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings in a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday. He didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning.There are other talented rookies in Major League Baseball this year, too, but again Maeda is having the better first month. At 21 years old, Dodger shortstop Corey Seager might well have a long and successful career ahead of him; right now he’s the second-best rookie in his own clubhouse.