Zack Greinke‘s start in Kansas City on Monday evening was perhaps his worst of the season. So much for familiar territory. Greinke was roughed up for 5 runs on 11 hits, and Jeremy Guthrie countered with a solid start which didn’t see the Dodgers score until the eighth inning off the right-hander. The Royals also shored up the diamond with excellent defense, and even though Yasiel Puig and others hit the ball hard quite a few times throughout the game, the Royals’ defense was there to make the play time and time again.
Sparkling defense and solid starting pitching along with a long ball by catcher Salvador Perez and a great night from Jarrod Dyson, Escobar, and Cain all combined reasons for KC to easily defeat the Dodgers. The Dodgers were behind the entire game, and their late inning mini rally in the eighth and a solo shot by Adrian Gonzalez in the ninth wasn’t enough. The Dodgers were 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and they left five men on base.
The Royals also ran wild on the base path versus Dodger pitching. Omar Infante and Jarrod Dyson each stole two bases. The Dodgers looked outmatched against the Royals tonight, and with both Miguel Rojas and Carlos Triunfel in the lineup, there wasn’t much punch. Puig’s hip continues to be a question mark, but he did hit the ball very hard twice during the night. It was just that the Kansas City defense vacuumed up any ball hit anywhere in the Kansas City area.
Dodgers 3 8 0
Royals 5 11 0
WP- Guthrie (5-6)
LP- Greinke (9-4)
S- Holland (22)
HR- Perez (9), Gonzalez (13)
Jeremy Guthrie strikes out lead-off batter Dee Gordon to start things off in the top of the first. Hanley grounds out to short. Puig flies out to center, and the Dodgers go down in order.
Lorenzo Cain welcomes Zack Greinke back to Kauffman Stadium with a lead-off single to center in the bottom of the first. No big deal, Greinke is able to retire the next three Royal batters in order.
Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp are quickly retired on fly balls in the top of the second. Andre Ethier hits a sharp grounder to first, but Eric Hosmer makes a great stop to prevent a double down the line. Hosmer is able to beat the chugging Ethier to the first base bag for the final out of the
Salvador Perez hits the first pitch he sees to left field for a no-doubter solo homerun. The big catcher has hit 9 homeruns this season for the Royals. Omar Infante flies out, and Mike Moustakas pops out to Miguel Rojas in foul territory. Alcides Escobar singles to center field with two outs. With Jarrod Dyson at the plate, a wild pitch by Zack Greinke allows Escobar to move to second. Dyson promptly singles to left field, and the Royals score their second run of the inning as Escobar crosses the plate. The Dodgers and Zack Greinke look stunned. Greinke finally ends the inning by striking out Cain, but the Royals take a 2-0 lead.
A.J. Ellis singles to lead-off the third inning, but Rojas erases him as he hits into a double play. Carlos Triunfel flies out, and the Dodgers can’t muster anything against Guthrie so far.
Dee Gordon strikes out for the second time versus Guthrie to begin the fourth. Hanley pops out. Then Dyson catches up to a shot to center hit by Puig, and he makes a stellar catch as his back hits the outfield wall. The Dodgers go down in order.
Omar Infante singles with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Andre Ethier makes a nice diving catch on a ball hit by Moustakas. Infante steals second, but Escobar strikes out to end the scoreless frame.
Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp hit back-to-back singles to open the top of the fifth inning. Andre Ethier strikes out on a foul tip for the first out of the inning. A.J. Ellis grounds into a force out. Kemp makes it to third on the play as he jumps over the groundball. Rojas grounds out to second, and the Dodgers fail to score and waste the two base hits.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Royals tack on another run. Dyson singles again, and he steals second. Lorenzo Cain singles in front of Puig in right field, and Dyson comes home on the play. Royals lead 3-0. The first out finally comes when Hosmer grounds out to first. Cain takes second on the play. Butler flies out, and Cain advances to third. Alex Gordon grounds out to Dee Gordon to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Dee Gordon bunts for a single along the third base line with one out. Gordon takes second on a groundout by Hanley. Puig lines
out to Cain to end the inning.
The Royals add to their lead in the sixth. Perez doubles to lead-off. Escobar triples on a ball to right field which Puig can’t get to. Puig hits the wall and falls down trying to recover the ball. Perez scores. After a coaching visit from Rick Honeycutt, Jarrod Dyson proceeds to single in another run, making it a 5-0 lead. That’s going to be all for Zack. Jamey Wright will come in for relief. Dyson steals another base, but Wright is able to retire Cain to end the inning and the sorrow.
Zack Greinke pitches 5 2/3 innings and allowed 5 runs on 11 hits with 4 strikeouts and no walks on 100 pitches.
Guthrie easily shuts the Dodgers down in order in the top of the seventh.
Jamey Wright pitches a very nice 1-2-3 inning for the bottom of the seventh.
A.J. strikes out to begin the eighth inning against Guthrie who is still in. Miguel Rojas singles to center with one out, and that’s the Dodgers fifth hit of the night. Justin Turner comes up with a pinch-hit base hit, and perhaps Guthrie is running out of gas. Dee Gordon flies out. Hanley Ramirez then proceeds to double off the left field wall, and the Dodgers are able to break up the shut out as two runs score! 5-2 Royals. That’s going to be all for Guthrie. Wade Davis comes in out of the Kansas City bullpen, and he retires Puig with one pitch to end the inning.
Jeremy Guthrie pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits with 5 strikeouts and no walks on 95 pitches.
Chris Perez will pitch the bottom of the eighth for the Dodgers in for his 30th appearance of the season.. Perez actually pitches a 1-2-3 inning.
The Dodgers are down to their final three outs, and they’ll have to contend with Royals’ closer Greg Holland. Adrian Gonzalez hits a lead-off solo homerun to left field, and the Dodgers are within two runs of the lead. Kemp hits a grounder to third, but Moustakas makes a nice throw from third to first and Hosmer makes a nice pick to get Kemp out. Ethier strikes out swinging, and he ends up going 0-for-4 on the night. A.J. Ellis strikes out swinging, and the Dodgers lose Game 1 in Kansas City.
The Dodgers fall to 42-36. The Giants are currently losing to San Diego, so the Dodgers would remain four back if San Diego holds on. Tomorrow evening’s game in Kansas City will feature Clayton Kershaw and fellow lefty Danny Duffy.