It wasn't starting pitching that won the game for the Dodgers this time. It was a strong effort from the Dodger bullpen and an unusual play that scored the go-ahead run for the Dodgers.
That play occurred with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the eighth. A.J. Ellis had fouled off two straight pitches and then Wade Davis hit Ellis with a fastball. Andre Ethier touched home plate to give the Dodger a 5-4 lead.
The Dodger bullpen shutdown the Royals for 4⅔ innings, including eight outs from Jamey Wright in relief of Dan Haren, and Brian Wilson recorded the first save of his Dodger career.
Kenley Jansen was not available for the game because he had already pitched four out of the first five games of this road trip.
"We were told that Kenley was down tonight so we would be moved back for this game," said Brandon League, who recorded the final two outs of the eighth.
J.P. Howell and League combined to pitch the eighth, holding the one-run lead, and Wilson entered the game in the ninth.
Wilson struck out Jarrod Dyson but then Danny Valencia singled to right. Pedro Ciriaco came in to run for Valencia and then attempted to steal second. Ciriaco was called out on the field but the Royals successfully challenged that play and the call was changed to safe.
Lorenzo Cain was able to work to a full count and then Cain hit a line drive toward right field.
Scott Van Slyke used all of his 6'5 height as he had to stretch out his glove to catch the ball. Ciriaco was halfway to third base so when Van Slyke threw to second base, that completed the game-ending double play.
Prior to that exciting finish the Dodgers saw Haren have his first start of the season where he did not get past the fifth inning.
Cain led off the game for the Royals with a home run, extending Haren's streak of giving up at least one home run to nine straight games, with 14 total home runs allowed in 52⅔ innings during that span.
Matt Kemp tied the game in the top of the second inning with a solo home run to right center, his eighth of the year.
The Dodgers scored twice in the third inning. With one out, Dee Gordon tripled to right. Before James Shields started to pitch to Yasiel Puig, Shields threw over to third base.
"I've never seen that before and it was weird because he wasn't throwing it to the base," Gordon said.
On the second throw over, a balk was called and Gordon scored.
Puig's hit went off the left field wall but Puig was running all the way and he slid head first to beat the throw to third. Puig would later score on an Adrian Gonzalez sacrifice fly making the score 3-1.
In the top of the fifth and the score 3-2, Gordon singled and stole second. Puig doubled down the left field line to score him for a 4-2 lead.
The Dodgers now had a two-run lead again, but in the bottom of that inning, Haren gave up a home run to Dyson to make the score 4-3. After a single and a walk, Wright replaced Haren. A wild pitch by Wright moved the runners to second and third.
Butler hit a hard ground ball toward center. Shortstop Miguel Rojas dove to his left, got up and threw out Butler. The tying run scored but Eric Hosmer had to stop at third. Wright struck out Alex Gordon to end the inning.
The game would remained tied until Ethier scored on the hit by pitch.
The Dodgers went 4-2 on the road trip and gained a game on the San Francisco Giants.
Gonzalez has driven in a run in seven straight games, tied for second-longest streak in his career.
Gordon went 4-for-5 and hit his ninth triple of the season which leads the majors.
Gordon also stole his major league-leading 40th base.
The Dodgers host the St. Louis Cardinals for a four-game series. Josh Beckett will face Adam Wainwright on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Home runs: Cain (3), Kemp (8), Dyson (1)
WP - Jamey Wright (3-2): 2⅔ innings, no runs, 2 hits, 4 strikeouts
LP - Wade Davis (5-2): 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 hit by pitch
Sv - Brian Wilson (1): 1 inning, 3 batters faced, 1 hit, 1 strikeout