The Dodgers and Royals exchanged runs more often than the scoreline shows, but it was the Dodgers who had more firepower as they eventually cruised to a 9-3 win.
They’ve now won seven of their last nine.
Well, things didn’t begin easily, as Mookie Betts led the game off with a no-doubter for a lead-off shot, his 21st of the year.
Getting Home Run Derby practice in. pic.twitter.com/i4Tm2bZxI7— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 1, 2023
Granted, Marsh settled in nicely for the most part, at least until Mookie came up again in the 3rd and drilled his 22nd homer of the year off the fair pole in left for a 2-0 lead. Don’t have guys like that in the minors.
That's two dingers in his first two at-bats today for Mookie. pic.twitter.com/rWoNAp8E7e— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 1, 2023
Opposing Marsh was a fellow rookie in Bobby Miller, who has had back-to-back late implosions lately and was looking to bounce back today. He started off well, allowing just a walk in his first two innings.
The 3rd proved more problematic, as the first hit Miller gave up was to Drew Miller, who then stole second, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored on a Bobby Witt ground out, as the Royals manufactured a run to cut into the Dodgers lead at 2-1.
The last out of the 3rd was an impressive play by super super super utilityman, Mookie Betts.
Mookie Betts, best utilityman ever, probably. pic.twitter.com/ayybrtGlWE— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 1, 2023
But the Dodgers came back immediately in the 4th, as a David Peralta walk was followed by a Jason Heyward double to plate him, and after a James Outman walk, it was that man Mookie again with a clean single back up the middle to up the lead to 4-1.
Jason Heyward's OPS is up to .842 on the year after this RBI double. pic.twitter.com/zhqgzEmCbO— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 1, 2023
Mookie lashes a single for his third hit and RBI of the game. pic.twitter.com/WH2csrQzMj— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 1, 2023
Unfortunately, Miller couldn’t get a shutout inning in the bottom half of the frame, as the Royals got a Maikel Garcia single, steal, advance on a wild pitch, and eventually a run on a Nick Pratto double to cut the lead to 4-2.
The scoring really went back-and-forth even though the lead didn’t change, as the Dodgers then came back with a Will Smith triple in the 5th after review, a Max Muncy walk that knocked Marsh out, and the longest sacrifice fly you’re gonna see in this park from J.D. Martinez to make it 5-2.
Miller seemed to have settled after a clean 5th and getting two outs in the 6th, but a single, steal, hit by pitch, and Freddy Fermin single plated a run to cut the lead to 5-3 and knocked Miller out of the game.
Despite better results, he actually wasn’t necessarily sharp tonight in terms of execution, but he did his job: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 92 Pitches.
Caleb Ferguson entered to complete the 6th, and that he did with a groundout.
Again though, the teams could not stop exchanging runs, as after not scoring in the 6th, the Dodgers got J.D. reaching on an error to start the 7th, and then back-to-back singles from Peralta and Heyward to make the lead three again at 6-3 (even though Choo Choo Man cost them a chance for more).
Heyward singles (third hit) for more insurance, not sure what Choo Choo Man is doing. pic.twitter.com/zphEGQVrZr— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 1, 2023
Ferguson was back out for the 7th, and while he gave up a pair of singles, he also got two outs. Yency Almonte entered to get the final out, and he prevented anything from being added to Caleb’s ledger with a fly out.
Mookie doubles to add to the lead, now has four hits and four RBI on the night. Freddie trades places with him for another run and it's 8-3. pic.twitter.com/XvpXcP4YPy— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 1, 2023
After Will got hit and Muncy walked to load the bases, the Dodgers just got one more run on a Peralta sac fly to make it 9-3.
That was the end of the scoring for the Dodgers, as they went down in a scoreless 9th.
Going for the Dodgers in the 8th was Daniel Hudson, returning after missing a year due to blowing out his ACL last year, which was a rather devastating blow for the pen. He has been sorely missed this year as well, and he gave up an infield single to start, but also got a pair of strikeouts and a routine fly out in his return.
About as ideal as could be.
Daniel Hudson returns from his ACL injury, strikes out two and gives up just an infield single on a dribbler to third. pic.twitter.com/uRT80OObn3— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 1, 2023
To close the game out, it was Justin Bruihl in the 9th, despite the fact that he pitched two innings yesterday at Colorado. Tough assignment, but he gave up just an infield single and another runner reached on a strikeout and “wild pitch”, but he closed the game out eventually.
Nice start to the series.
|Dodgers||46-35 (1.5 GB)|
|Giants||46-36 (2 GB)|
*Either still playing or will play later.