Squandered opportunities cost the Los Angeles Dodgers their lead but they battled back from a late deficit to defeat the Kansas City Royals in 10 innings on Cody Bellinger’s walk-off walk.
While Royals closer Kelvin Herrera walked the winning run in, it was Scott Alexander who walked Chase Utley, Corey Seager and Justin Turner with nobody out to set up the Dodgers for their 5-4 victory. Los Angeles extended their winning streak to five games and improved to an MLB-best 60-29.
Prior to his heroics in the 10th inning, Bellinger tied the game with an opposite-field solo home run in the eighth. The homer was Bellinger’s 25th this season but first since June 25, which was a stretch of 11 games and 47 plate appearances. Of his home runs, 13 have been hit in the seventh inning or later.
Joc Pederson’s two-run home run provided the Dodgers with a lead in the second inning, and Turner’s sacrifice fly, after singles from Utley and Seager, extended it to 3-0 in the third.
Ian Kennedy largely settled in from there, however, going on to match Brandon McCarthy’s six innings of work. In his first start since June 25, McCarthy worked to lay to rest any lingering concern over command issues that arose nearly two weeks ago.
There were some bumps as McCarthy reached the latter stages of his outing, but he otherwise had six encouraging innings to hang his hat on.
McCarthy allowed a two-out base hit to Lorenzo Cain in the first inning, then proceeded to retire seven in a row. McCarthy needed just 28 pitches (20 strikes) to get through three innings. It wasn’t until a Jorge Bonifacio leadoff single in the fourth that he ran into some trouble.
Cain walked and Eric Hosmer singled, but Pederson threw out Bonifacio at home plate. The Royals scratched on a Salvador Perez blooper that dropped just out of Utley’s over-the-shoulder sliding attempt.
Although McCarthy was getting through his start without issue, Whit Merrifield’s two-out double in the fifth ended that. He advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball. McCarthy walked Bonifacio, but regained control after a mound visit, and finished the inning without another run allowed.
The Dodgers stranding a Yasmani Grandal leadoff double in the fourth inning and Pederson’s one-out single in the sixth left the bullpen in a tight spot. Brandon Morrow took over in the seventh and immediately allowed a base hit to Alcides Escobar.
A strikeout followed, but pinch-hitter Brandon Moss walked and Merrifield’s RBI single to left tied the game. Bonifacio’s single loaded the bases and knocked Morrow out of the game. Pedro Baez picked up a strikeout and groundout to get the Dodgers out of the jam.
Baez missed his location with a fastball in the eighth inning and it resulted in a Perez leadoff, go-ahead home run. Bellinger broke out of his drought and tied the game with an opposite-field home run in the bottom of the eighth.
Ross Stripling was put in a difficult position in the 10th as Seager allowed a routine grounder to go through his legs, resulting in a two-base error to open the inning. The Royals failed to capitalize however, as Stripling retired the next three batters faced.
Suffice to say, that ultimately proved to be fatal for Kansas City.