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Mookie Betts homers twice, goes 4 for 4 with 4 RBIs and leads Dodgers to 9-3 win over Royals


AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers arrived late in Kansas City after their weather-delayed game the previous night in Colorado, so the All-Star slugger figured he would get his team off to a quick start Friday night.

He didn’t stop after his leadoff homer, either.

Betts went deep twice off big league debutant Alec Marsh, finished 4 for 4 with two walks to match a career best by reaching base six times, and drove in four runs to help the Dodgers romp to a 9-3 win over the last-place Royals.

“You know, we got in late and I said, ‘That’s no excuse,’” said the diminutive Betts, who nonetheless will take his swings in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in less than two weeks. “Gave us a little energy and we rode it all night.”

Jason Heyward added three hits and two RBIs for the Dodgers, whose hot bats that produced a season-high 18 hits the previous night in Colorado kept sizzling at Kauffman Stadium, where the temperature was 97 degrees at first pitch.

Los Angeles had 11 hits to go with nine walks, and seven different players crossed the plate, giving Bobby Miller (4-1) more than enough support. The right-hander pitched into the sixth inning and allowed three runs on five hits and a walk.

“The guys definitely had my back today,” Miller said.

Bobby Witt Jr., Nick Pratto and Freddy Fermin drove in runs for Kansas City, which has lost eight of its last nine against the Dodgers.

Marsh (0-1), the fourth Royals player to make his major league debut this season, threw 95 pitches before he was lifted with two aboard and nobody out in the fifth. He allowed five runs on four walks and six hits with five strikeouts.

“He’s certainly not the first guy to give up homers to Mookie,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “He didn’t back down.”

The 25-year-old Marsh actually pitched fairly well when he wasn’t facing Betts, the Dodgers’ All-Star leadoff hitter, who drove the right-hander’s fifth career pitch 422 feet over the left-field bullpen. Betts followed his ninth leadoff homer of the season with a shot off the left-field foul pole to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the third.

Betts added an RBI single in the fourth, a walk in the sixth, a run-scoring double in the eighth and another walk in the ninth. That allowed the seven-time All-Star to reach base six times, just as he did for Boston against the Yankees on Aug. 2, 2018.

Witt’s RBI groundout got the Royals within 2-1 in the third before Los Angeles capitalized on a pair of walks to score twice in the fourth, when bolts of lightning began tracing across the outfield sky. The umpires huddled but allowed play to continue.

The Dodgers answered Pratto’s run-scoring double in the fourth with a run in the fifth, when Will Smith was awarded a triple on a hit down the right-field line that was initially ruled foul. J.D. Martinez followed two batters later with a sacrifice fly.

Heyward made it 6-3 with an RBI single in the seventh before Los Angeles scored three more times in the eighth.


The Royals traded LHP Aroldis Chapman to the Rangers for LHP Cole Ragans and OF Roni Cabrera about two hours before the first pitch. The 35-year-old Chapman has resurrected his career this season, frequently hitting 102 mph out of the bullpen, but the Royals needed younger players as they build toward the future. The 25-year-old Ragans will go to Triple-A Omaha to stretch out as a starter and could be in the majors soon, and the 17-year-old Cabrera will play in the Dominican Summer League.

“It was just a matter of the timing of when we thought we’d get the right return,” Royals general manager J.J. Picollo said about trading Chapman. “He’s just thrown so well that we had an opportunity to make a move sooner than later.”


Dodgers: RHP Daniel Hudson worked around a single in the eighth in his first appearance since tearing the ACL in his left knee just more than a year ago. He was activated about 30 minutes before the game, when RHP Nick Robertson was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City and RHP Ricky Vanasco was designated for assignment.

Royals: LHP Amir Garrett (left elbow) came off the injured list, where he had been since June 2, and pitched a scoreless inning in relief. RHP James McArthur also was optioned to Omaha so Marsh could join the club.


Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw plans to play catch Saturday rather than throw a bullpen. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is on track to start Monday after feeling tenderness in his shoulder Tuesday. He was given a shot to relieve inflammation Wednesday. “That’s the plan as it stands right now,” manager Dave Roberts said.


Dodgers LHP Julio Urías (hamstring) is expected to start Saturday for the first time since May 17. He was 5-4 with a 4.39 ERA in 10 starts before landing on the injured list. The Royals will counter with LHP Daniel Lynch (1-3, 3.96).


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