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Dodgers win over Royals is a walk in the park

LA (60-29) owns the best record in baseball

Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Dodgers gave back an early lead, but rallied to tie in the eighth and won in extras. Cody Bellinger drew a walk-off walk to beat the Royals 5-4 on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

It was the fifth straight win for the Dodgers and their sixth walk-off win of the season, including three walk-off wins in the current stretch of winning 17 of their last 18 home games.

Chase Utley walked to open the 10th inning against Scott Alexander, then stole second. Corey Seager and Justin Turner both walked as well to load the bases with nobody out, which prompted Ned Yost to make a pitching change.

Royals closer Kelvin Herrera was brought into an impossible situation — bases loaded, nobody out — and walked Bellinger on six pitches. It was the second time in three games the Dodgers used a four-walk rally in a walk-off win.

This was just the 20th walk-off walk for the Dodgers since they moved to Los Angeles in 1958, and Bellinger was the 20th different person to do it.

It was the seventh extra-inning game of the season for the Dodgers, of which they have won five.

The Dodgers led 3-0 at one point in the game, thanks in part to a two-run shot by Joc Pederson in the second inning against Ian Kennedy. Then in the fourth inning Pederson threw out Jorge Bonifacio at the plate, at the time keeping the Royals off the scoreboard.

But Kansas City persisted with a run later in that fourth inning, then solo runs in the fifth, seventh, and eighth innings. That eighth inning run was a solo home run by American League All-Star starting catcher Salvador Perez, just over the outstretched glove of Pederson and off the top of the wall and over in center field, giving Kansas City the lead.

Bellinger answered with an opposite field home run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the score. It was Bellinger’s first home run since June 25, snapping a string of 11 games and 47 plate appearances without.

Bellinger was 2-for-3 on the day with two walks.

McCarthy encouraging

In his first start back from the disabled list, Brandon McCarthy was solid, with just one real blip.

After cruising through four innings with just 42 pitches, McCarthy got the first two outs of the fifth inning before giving up a double to Whit Merrifield. Then, all of a sudden, McCarthy yanked a pitch and threw it to the backstop, allowing Merrfield to advance to third.

The next pitch got by Yasmani Grandal too, but not because McCarthy couldn’t control it. Grandal just flat out missed it, the ball clanking off his glove for a run-scoring passed ball, pulling Kansas City to within 3-2.

However, before any thoughts of the yips returning could fester, McCarthy remained in the game and finished the sixth inning without issue.

Unexpected exits in 7th

The Royals rallied to tie the game in the top of the seventh and threatened for more. With the bases loaded and one out, Baez relieved Brandon Morrow in a double switch, with Kike Hernandez spelling Yasiel Puig in right. But during the pitching change, Grandal met with trainer Nate Lucero in the dugout. Grandal had to be removed in favor of Austin Barnes, with what the Dodgers said at first was a left hand contusion, and later clarified.

Puig, by the time he got to the dugout, understandably wondered why he was removed as well, though it seemed the Grandal news came as a surprise, and after Puig was already technically removed.

To get out of that jam, Baez struck out Lorenzo Cain looking and got Eric Hosmer to ground out. Cain stewed in the dugout the remainder of the inning, then continued to have words for home plate umpire Bill Miller in between innings. So much so that as Cain was taking the field in the bottom of the inning, he was ejected.

Up next

The Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound on Sunday, looking for another perfect week at home. Danny Duffy starts the series finale for the Royals.

Saturday particulars

Home runs: Joc Pederson (9), Cody Bellinger (25); Salvador Perez (18)

WP - Ross Stripling (1-3): 1 IP, 1 strikeout

LP - Scott Alexander (1-3): 0 IP, 1 run, 3 walks