Dave Roberts continued to downplay Mookie Betts’ participation in Friday afternoon’s home run derby. The Dodgers executive said he was “excited” about the little leader’s decision to go up against some of baseball’s best hitters in the All-Star Game, but added, “I don’t think he’s going to do too well.” “
Betts, the 5’7, 170-pound outfielder/infielder, sent a not-so-subtle message to his captain in Friday night’s 9-3 win at Kauffman Stadium over the humble Kansas City Royals: Don’t underestimate me.
Betts smashed solo homers in his first two at-bats in the 26th multi-homer game of his career, and despite failing to hit three homers in a game for the seventh time of his career, he added an RBI in the fourth -Added a single inning and an RBI double in the 8th to accelerate an 11-hit attack.
Rookie right-hander Bobby Miller threw 5 2/3 solid innings, giving up three runs and five hits, knocking out four and walking one to secure the win. He bounced back from two brutal starts, earning 13 runs and scoring 17 in 9 2/3 innings against the San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros.
Jason Heyward added three hits and two RBI to help the Dodgers win for the seventh time in nine games and a 12-12 record in June. This avoided the first month of losses since April 2018’s 11-14 result.
The Dodgers didn’t arrive at their Kansas City team hotel until around 5 a.m. local time after enduring a nearly two-hour weather delay and an overnight win in Colorado on Thursday, flying to Kansas City after the game.
But Betts provided a five-hour boost of energy for his team when he opened the game with the 45th home run of his career and ninth of the season, driving a 3-1 fastball from Royals right-hander Alec Marsh. making his major league debut 422 feet from left field and leading 1-0.
Betts, who hit two doubles, a walk and three runs in the Rockies’ 14-run and 18-hit shellacking Thursday night, trailed Miguel Rojas in the top third with a 402-foot line drive that swept just inside the left corner stayed on field foul pole for his team-leading 22nd home run and a 2-0 lead.
Kansas City extended the lead to 2-1 by the end of the third period when Drew Waters hit a single to left center, stealing second place, securing third place through the grounder from Nicky Lopez for second place and after the grounder by Bobby Witt Jr. scored the first goal.
Marsh did well to keep Betts in the park in the fourth inning, but the Dodgers’ second baseman still drove a run down the middle with a two-out RBI single, capping a two-run rally that ended with David Peralta’s walk and Jason Heyward’s RBI started double right-center.
Miller delivered another run at the end of the fourth when Maikel Garcia singled out with an out, stealing second place and scoring right center after former Huntington Beach High star Nick Pratto’s RBI double, which the Royals to 4:2.
But the Dodgers got that run back early in the fifth period when Will Smith hit a flyball across the right field line that kicked up chalk for a triple — the ball was initially ruled a foul, then knocked over by immediate replay — and a goal scored that JD Martinez’s victim hits the wall in midfield and leads 5-2.
The Royals turned a stolen base into a run for the third time in the sixth inning when Garcia hit a single with two outs, stole the second, Pratto was hit by a pitch and Freddy Fermin rolled an RBI single to bring the deficit to 5: 3 to reduce. Dodgers left-hander Caleb Ferguson tricked pinch-hitter Edward Olivares into a fielder’s pick at the end of the innings.
The Dodgers responded again in the seventh game, taking advantage of Royals third baseman Garcia’s mistake on the Martinez grounder and singles from Peralta and Heyward (RBI) to extend the lead to 6-3.
They opened the game with an eighth in three runs, with Rojas, Betts and Freddie Freeman contributing doubles and Peralta adding a sacrifice flight for a 9-3 lead.
Betts, who along with Sammy Sosa and Johnny Mize is the only player in baseball history to complete six three-homer games, had two outs early in the ninth to hit a shot to hit a third homer, but he scored a walk.