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Brady Singer Dazzles as Royals Blow Out Dodger to Win First Series Since May 17

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By: Dave Skretta, AP News

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Nicky Lopez remembers the halcyon days of the Kansas City Royals in 2014 and 2015, when the small-market club won back-to-back American League pennants and its first World Series title in three decades.

More importantly, Lopez remembers how they did it: good starting pitching, timely hitting and a dominant bullpen.

It’s precisely the formula they used to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.

Brady Singer threw seven effective innings, Lopez matched a career high with four RBIs, Maikel Garcia and Bobby Witt Jr. drove in two runs apiece and the Royals beat the Dodgers 9-1 to claim their first series victory since May 17.

“You know, a lot of the times in 2014 and 2015, they won a lot of ballgames 3-1, but they put it all together — timely hitting and a bullpen shut it down, and good starting pitching,” Lopez said. “I just think that’s been the identity of the Royals for a while, and sometimes we lose sight of that, but I feel like that has to be it.”

Singer (5-7) played a big part in it from the mound, allowing one run on three hits and four walks over seven innings.

“Hopefully, you know, this gives us a lot of confidence,” Singer said. “We have a lot of confidence.”

The Royals took the lead off Tony Gonsolin (4-3) in the second on a single by Garcia, who also had a career-best four hits, and then knocked the right-hander from the game in the fourth, when they scored three more to pull away.

Gonsolin allowed four runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings, and has now allowed 15 runs over his last 14 1/3 innings.

“We just didn’t play well and they played better, quite frankly,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Those guys just outplayed us. It’s a different brand of baseball as far as putting the ball in play, hitting behind runners, stealing bases. They were excellent in situational hitting. To be quite honest, we didn’t keep up. That’s how they won the series.”

The Royals, who still have not homered in their last seven games, continued to produce runs with small ball, just as they did in a rain-delayed 6-4 victory Saturday night. They strung together a walk and three hits to score three times in the fourth; had four hits along with a walk and a sacrifice to score three more in the fifth; and took advantage of an error leading off the sixth with a walk and two more hits to produce two more runs and take a 9-1 lead.

“Getting the ball in play consistently is the difference-maker,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said.

The only offense the Dodgers mustered came in the fourth inning, when J.D. Martinez drew a leadoff walk and advanced on a single by David Peralta. Miguel Vargas followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.

Otherwise, the 26-year-old Singer shut down one of baseball’s hottest lineups to win for the first time since June 4. He’d taken the loss in three of his last four starts, though he did pitch six innings of four-hit ball without a result his last time out.

After Daniel Lynch’s win Saturday night, the Royals have back-to-back wins by starters for the first time in 93 games.

“That was huge. The bullpen was a little taxed,” Singer said. “To get out there and give them seven was huge.”

KERSHAW’S SHOULDER

The next step for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who had shoulder soreness after his last start against Colorado, remained unclear after a throwing session Sunday. He could make his next start against Pittsburgh on Monday, push it back a few days or even go on the injured list. Part of the consideration is the upcoming All-Star break, which could minimize the number of games that the three-time Cy Young winner would potentially miss.

“I just don’t want to say right now,” Roberts said before the game. “He hasn’t thrown a bullpen, he didn’t spin the baseball, but there was progress. He felt better. So that was encouraging.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: LHP Julio Urías came out of Saturday’s game healthy. It was his first start since straining a hamstring May 18. He was battered for five runs in the first inning but made it through three before he was lifted for a reliever.

Royals: 1B/OF Matt Beaty (concussion) was cleared to resume baseball activities, Quatraro said, and will head to Arizona to begin his rehab. Beaty was hurt in a collision with Samad Taylor on June 21 in Detroit.

UP NEXT

Given the uncertainty surrounding Kershaw, the Dodgers have not announced a starter for the opener of their series Monday night against Pittsburgh. The Royals also have not announced a starter for their series opener Monday night in Minnesota.

 

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