Chase Utley reaches milestone in Los Angeles Dodgers' win

By Bob Keisser, The Sports Xchange   |   July 8, 2017 at 11:54 AM
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LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig hit his 16th home run and Chase Utley drove in the 1,000th run of his career as the Los Angeles Dodgers won a battle of hot teams on a hot night, 4-1 over the Kansas City Royals on Friday.

The game matched two of the hottest teams in baseball. The Dodgers are 24-4 in their last 28 and an audacious 37-11 at home. While the loss snapped the Royals' four-game win streak, they have still won six of their last eight and are 18-7 in their last 25 games, moving from a 10-20 start into contention in the American League Central.

Puig slugged a 2-2 slider by starter Jason Hammel halfway up the left-field bleachers in the sixth inning to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead, a 429-foot blast as impressive for cutting through a hot, humid night as its distance.

In the eighth, Joc Pederson doubled and Utley, 38 and in his 15th season, drilled a double to right-center to drive in the landmark RBI. He becomes the ninth active player with 1,000 career RBIs, joining Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano and Victor Martinez.

Kenta Maeda (7-4) went five innings, allowing four hits and striking out five in addition to a single that scored a run in the fourth inning. He handed the game to the bullpen, Scott Fields working an inning, Brock Stewart two perfect innings and Kenley Jansen the ninth for his 21st save.

Hammel (4-8) went six innings, allowing three runs and eight hits while walking three and striking out seven.

Logan Forsythe walked twice and had an RBI single to continue his hot streak. He's hitting over .400 in his last 12 games after being slowed early in the season by a pair of injuries. Corey Seager had the other Dodgers RBI.

Kansas City's Eric Hosmer extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the sixth. Mike Moustakas doubled and scored in the fourth for the Royals' only run.

The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. With two outs, Moustakas lined a double into the right-field corner and Alcides Escobar followed with a single on a 3-2 pitch.

The Dodgers used four singles in the bottom of the fourth, three with two outs, to take a 2-1 lead. With two outs and a runner on first, Maeda singled to left, Forsythe sliced a single down the right-field line to tie the game and Seager drilled a single to right to score Maeda.

Alex Gordon doubled to start the fifth and was bunted to third by Hammel. The Royals couldn't convert, Maeda getting Whit Merrifield to hit a soft groundout and striking out Ramon Torres.

Maeda had five strikeouts through five innings before ending his night.

NOTES: Dodgers LHP Alex Wood was named to his first All-Star game, being named as a substitute for teammate Clayton Kershaw on the NL team. Kershaw is scheduled to pitch Sunday and will not be available to play in the game. Wood is 10-0 with a 1.67 ERA and the third Dodger to begin a season 10-0, the others being reliever Ed Roebuck in 1962 and Don Newcombe in 1955. ... Dodgers 3B Justin Turner was given a day off and was not in the starting lineup, a day after winning the final five voting for an All-Star game spot on the NL team. Turner has the highest batting average in the NL at .380 but does not have enough plate appearances to officially qualify. He was on the DL for 19 games earlier this season. He walked as a pinch hitter in the eighth. ... The Dodgers will activate RHP Brandon McCarthy from the 10-day disabled list Saturday and he will start against the Royals. ... The Royals outrighted RHP Seth Maness to Triple-A Omaha.

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