It was unfortunate for the Kansas City Royals to have to travel to LA to wrap up the pre-All Star slate. It was even more unfortunate to have to face Clayton Kershaw on Sunday.
I could have typed “Clayton Kershaw” 200 times like I was Jack Nicholson in The Shining and that would’ve summed up the Kansas City Royals final pre-All Star outing against the Dodgers lefty. But I thought you, the home reader, deserved better.
We all did as the Dodgers completed the sweep in a 5-2 contest that, Eric Hosmer aside, didn’t seem to inspire much confidence regarding the Royals.
Quick aside: that’s not a slight of the Kansas City Royals, who should be tickled to enter the All-Star break above .500 after the disastrous 10-20 start. It just shows the gap between the league’s elite—and the Dodgers are ELITE, full caps—and the Royals. And it’s still sizable, unfortunately.
The Dodgers jumped out to an early lead thanks to Justin Turner, who homered twice in the first three innings against Danny Duffy—a dead-center shot in the first and a towering drive to left-center in his next at-bat. His third-inning blast also scored Logan Forsythe, who singled in Trayce Thompson earlier in the frame.
It was 4-0 bad guys, and the Kansas City Royals had one hit—a Hosmer single—after three. And the umpire crew was even down a man after Kerwin Danley was forced to leave after a foul tip directly to the face. Hopefully he’s okay; watching him go down in Drew Butera’s arms was a little frightening.
Hosmer got all Kansas City’s runs with a mammoth homer in the fourth, halving the lead on his season’s 12th homer. He would account for three of Kansas City’s six hits, pushing his average to .318.
If the power numbers were slightly better or he hadn’t been able to hit a toddler’s body weight for the entirety of April, it’s possible Hosmer would be heading to Miami too.
Duffy would be chased after seven innings, five earned runs and nine strikeouts. Austin Barnes’ sixth-inning home run would represent the Dodgers’ final run.
Maybe it wasn’t Duffy’s best start, but Kershaw’s outing—his second complete game—would’ve been tough for anyone to top. He finished with 13 strikeouts and two earned, scattering six hits and lowering his ERA to 2.18. Since he made this start in lieu of playing in the All-Star game, I really really wish he’d wanted the All-Star start instead.
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We now break for the All-Star game—a Home Run Derby featuring a Royal, a game featuring as many as three—in Miami. We’ll resume our regularly-scheduled Royals baseball recaps on Friday when the Kansas City Royals host the Rangers at the K.