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Alec Marsh flashes good stuff in debut, Royals fall to Mookie Betts and the Dodgers, 9-3

“Alec Marsh does not look like a rookie making his debut” - Rex Hudler

Los Angeles Dodgers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Against a lesser lineup, the night may have belonged to the newest member of the Kansas City Royals, Alec Marsh. Instead, arguably the best lineup in baseball was able to capitalize on mistakes like the Dodgers do so often. Marsh flashed the strikeout stuff that has made him a top prospect in the organization since he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2019 MLB Draft. His night, however, started off with Mookie Betts and Betts showed why he’s a former MVP and one of the best players in baseball. Marsh’s 93 mph fastball was scorched 103 mph off the bat and landed 422 feet into the left field seats to give the Dodgers a quick 1-0 lead.

After the leadoff home run, however, Marsh started to settle in for the Royals. He retired the next three Dodgers, including a strikeout of Max Muncy for his first career strikeout. In all, the rookie notched five strikeouts over four frames and held most of the Dodgers lineup in check.

For Marsh, there were clear signs of brilliance. His changeup looked good at times, but inconsistent — and he threw it often. Over 95 pitches, Marsh threw 38 fastballs (40%), 26 sliders (27%), 23 changeups (24%), and 7 curveballs (7%). The fastball velocity was there, topping out at 97 mph, but he created just one swing-and-miss on the pitch all night. That will certainly be a point of focus for the young pitcher moving forward.

Amir Garrett pitched in relief for Marsh following a triple and a walk to lead off the Dodgers’ fifth. He allowed the runner on third to score on a sacrifice to center giving the Dodgers a 5 to 2 lead. Three of the five runs charged to Marsh on the night were brought in by Mookie Betts.

On offense, the Royals chipped away early, scoring two runs over the first five innings against Dodgers’ rookie Bobby Miller. The Royals lineup mustered just three hits against the tough flamethrower, including an RBI double from Nick Pratto in the bottom of the fourth inning. The offensive fortunes turned around in the home sixth inning, however. Maikel Garcia led things off with his second single of the ball game. He quickly stole second base and Nick Pratto was hit by a pitch to put two men on with two outs for Freddy Fermin. Fabulous Freddy came through again, lining an RBI single to left field to score Garcia from second.

That single ended the night for Bobby Miller, who finished his night allowing three earned runs over 5.2 innings pitched with four strikeouts. Sadly for Kansas City, they couldn’t add anything else and the game entered the 7th inning with the Royals trailing 5-3. The Los Angeles lineup, unsurprisingly, didn’t get any worse against the Kansas City bullpen. In the seventh, they added another run against Nick Wittgren, pitching in relief after a scoreless inning from Jose Cuas. Jason Heyward hit a line drive single to left field to score J.D. Martinez after he reached on a rare fielding error by Maikel Garcia.

A strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play ended the inning there and the Royals threatened again in the home seventh, but couldn’t get any runs across. Nicky Lopez and Bobby Witt Jr. both singled to put two men on with just one out. MJ Melendez struck out and Salvador Perez flew out to end the chance without pushing across a run. The Dodgers' offensive attack continued, pushing across another run on a (who else?) Mookie Betts double. Betts tallied four hits on the night with a double, two home runs, and four RBI.

In all, L.A. scored three runs against Nick Wittgren — one unearned — and extended their lead to 9-3, where it would remain for the rest of the game. Brooks Kriske pitched well over the rest of the night for the Royals. He finished his night allowing no hits, no runs, and just one walk over two full innings of work. The Royals’ offense couldn’t make any more noise despite getting two more men on in the home ninth.

Notes from tonight’s game:

  • It was the third straight game scoring eight or more runs for the Dodgers and the 24th time they’ve scored eight or more runs in a game this season. The Royals have scored eight or more just ten times.
  • Tonight was the fifth time this season that 3B Maikel Garcia has batted cleanup. In those games, he is now 6 for 18 (.333) with zero RBI.
  • Alec Marsh is the first starting pitcher to make his MLB debut with the Royals since Angel Zerpa did so on September 30, 2021.

Next up: Daniel Lynch (1-3, 3.96) gets the start tomorrow against the Dodgers. LHP Julio Urias (5-4, 4.39) is expected to make his return from the injured list. Start time, 6:15 CT. Lynch has faced the Dodgers just once in his career. On August 12, 2022, he pitched 5.0 innings, allowing just 2 hits and no runs in a game the Royals eventually lost 8-3.