LOS ANGELES (AP) Giving the Dodgers extra opportunities is dangerous these days.
All-Star rookie Cody Bellinger drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the winning run in the 10th inning and the NL West-leaders rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 on Saturday night for their fifth straight victory.
”It’s one of those things where you have a very good team and things are going well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the streak. ”The opposition, there is a certain fear that things are going to get away from them.”
The Dodgers reached the 60-win mark before the All-Star break for the first time since 1974. They are just the third team in franchise history to do so since 1933, joining the 1973 and ’74 squads that had 63 wins each. Their 60-29 record is the best in baseball.
The Dodgers have won 17 of 18 at home, where they lead the majors with a 38-11 mark.
Royals reliever Scott Alexander (1-3) loaded the bases on consecutive walks to Chase Utley (who stole second), Corey Seager and Justin Turner leading off the inning. He was replaced by Kelvin Herrera.
With the infield drawn in, fans chanted ”Cody! Cody!” as Bellinger worked a full count before walking and forcing in Utley.
”We put extra focus on Herrera because we knew we were going to face him in a close situation,” Bellinger said. ”He throws hard so I was sitting on the heater and I missed the 3-1. He just missed his slider (on the full count).”
Joc Pederson hit a two-run homer in the second for the Dodgers, who blew a 3-0 lead before tying the game 4-all on Bellinger’s team-leading 25th homer in the eighth.
”When you’re playing a team of this caliber, the way they are playing lately, you just can’t afford to give away any runs or pass up any opportunities,” said Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
Ross Stripling (1-3) got the win with one strikeout on 14 pitches in the 10th.
Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead homer in the top of the eighth off Pedro Baez, giving Kansas City a 4-3 lead.
In the fifth, Whit Merrifield of the Royals doubled with two outs. He took second on Brandon McCarthy’s wild pitch and scored on a passed ball by Yasmani Grandal, who left in the top of the seventh because of a left hand contusion. X-rays on his left thumb were negative.
The Royals closed to 3-2 with runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Perez’s RBI single capped a stretch in the fourth when Dodger starter Brandon McCarthy allowed three consecutive singles and a walk.
Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain was ejected in the seventh for arguing a called third strike with the bases loaded and the game tied 3-all.
McCarthy allowed two runs – one earned – and six hits, struck out one and walked two in his first start since June 25. He was reinstated from the DL earlier in the day after being sidelined with right knee tendinitis.
Royals starter Ian Kennedy gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked one.
Bellinger snapped an 11-game homerless streak to record his 25th homer in his 69th career big league game, second-fastest in major league history behind Jos� Abreu, who hit his 25th in his 67th game. The 21-year-old will showcase his power in Monday night’s Home Run Derby in Miami, where his father and former big leaguer Clay will pitch to him.
Kennedy’s streak of allowing six or fewer hits in a game ended at 15 straight starts, which was the longest in Royals history to start a season.
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An elderly white-haired woman shown dancing on the videoboard proceeded to flash the crowd in the seventh. Fans egged on her daring dance moves and perhaps emboldened by their cheers, the smiling woman lifted her blue shirt, revealing a white bra. The camera quickly cut away. There was a collective gasp from the crowd of 45,225, many of whom then began laughing. ”It was the rally granny,” Bellinger joked.
Dodgers: RHP reliever Chris Hatcher will play in two or three rehab games before he comes off the DL, where he’s been since June 23 with thoracic inflammation in his right shoulder. … LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu, on the DL with a left foot contusion since Tuesday, will return at some point after the All-Star break and won’t need a rehab assignment.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (5-4, 3.51 ERA) makes his second start in the majors since May 28 at Cleveland after missing five weeks with a strained right oblique. He’s allowed four home runs in 74 1/3 innings. He’s unbeaten in his last seven interleague outings since his last loss on Aug. 20, 2014, at Colorado.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 2.19) flirted with a no-hitter on Tuesday against Arizona, giving up two hits in seven innings and striking out 12. He is 7-1 with a 2.51 ERA in 10 home starts this season. Kershaw is 1-0 in his career against the Royals, last facing them in 2014.
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