This game was billed as a matchup of a pair of left-handed aces. At times it definitely looked that way, though you wouldn’t be able to tell it by the box score.
The Dodgers got the scoring started early, Justin Turner hit a solo shot with 2 outs off of a well placed change-up by Danny Duffy in the first inning. A couple pitches later home plate umpire Kerwin Danley took a foul ball off his facemask and collapsed but after being examined by the Dodgers’ trainer he stayed in the game for a bit longer. In the middle of the second inning he finally gave in and walked off the field, leaving the game to be overseen by only 3 umpires.
In the third inning Trayce Thompson led off the third with a triple thanks to the combination of an unlucky bounce and perhaps a bit of poor positioning by left fielder Jorge Soler - who actually had a couple really good running catches in other opportunities. Duffy got a shallow flyball from Kershaw but Logan Forsythe shot a low liner through the infield for an RBI single to extend the lead. Another strike out later Turner continued his KC thank you tour with another home run; this one was on a middle-middle fastball and was worth 2.
Given a 4 run lead Clayton Kershaw ran into his first and only real bit of trouble in the game. He started off fine enough, striking out Ramon Torres easily to start the top of the fourth. However, Lorenzo Cain ripped a nice curveball into left for a single and then Hosmer took a 2-0 middle-middle fastball just barely over the left center fence to cut the lead in half.
In the sixth inning Austin Barnes hit another solo shot off of Duffy in the sixth inning to get the lead back to 3, where it would remain.
Duffy pitched 7 innings and struck out 9 while only allowing 6 hits with no walks. That would have been a great line if 3 of the hits hadn’t been home runs. It seemed all day that he was either cruising or giving up bombs.
Kershaw pitched a complete game also without allowing a walk and only 6 hits. The biggest differences were that he struck out 13 and only allowed a single home run. The only guy Kershaw really couldn’t figure out was Eric Hosmer who went 3-for-4 including that home run.
The Royals finish the road trip 3-3, which isn’t a bad overall result. They go into the All-Star Break on a three-game losing streak but with an overall winning record - something that many would have declared unlikely bordering on the impossible just a couple months ago and better than they were during their post-season run in 2014.
Tomorrow will be the home run derby featuring Mike Moustakas, followed by the All-Star Game on Tuesday. When the Royals resume their season on Friday it will be at home against Texas. The Royals have not yet named their starter, but they’ll be facing Martin Perez (4-6 4.60 ERA)