The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t come out of an off day with the sharpest effort and that resulted in an early deficit they were unable to recover from in an 8-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals. The eight runs are the most the Dodgers have allowed in Cactus League play this year.
The first sign of a difficult night ahead was Bobby Witt Jr. forcing Julio Urias to throw 12 pitches in a plate appearance that ended with a walk to open the game. After a one-out single, Corey Seager was unable to come up with a dribbler hit a few steps to his right.
Seager did need to avoid a piece of Jorge Soler’s shattered bat, but he still drew an error on the play. So too did Justin Turner as he backed up the play but his throw to home plate got by Will Smith.
Smith then inexplicably did not throw down to first base after retrieving a passed ball on strike three. Urias then struck out Kelvin Gutierrez but came out of the game — for the time being — after throwing 29 pitches.
Alex Vesia’s first offering was crushed to left field by Bubba Starling for a grand slam. With rules now permitting as much for pitchers, Urias re-entered the game for the second inning. He surrendered a solo home run to Witt Jr. and later was removed after a two-out walk in the third.
Victor Gonzalez, Jimmy Nelson, Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen combined to keep the Royals off the scoreboard until they scratched two runs (one earned) off Garrett Cleavinger in the ninth inning.
That pitching effort made little difference as the Dodgers struggled to get much of anything going. Corey Seager continued his torrid pace with a home run in the first inning, which was his fourth in the past five games.
Singles by Gavin Lux and Shelon Neuse led to Zach Reks’ RBI base hit in the fifth inning. Jacob Amaya then drove in another run on a sacrifice fly. After Neuse kept the seventh alive with a two-out walk, he stole second base and scored when Reks’ line drive went off Nick Pratto’s glove at first base.
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