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Jun 14, 2024 7:08 am

Royals aim to take flight vs. Dodgers in opener of road trip

Kansas City Royals

After pulling out a victory on their last breath Thursday, the Kansas City Royals soared toward Los Angeles for the opener of a three-game series against the Dodgers on Friday night.

Kyle Isbel scored the winning run on Maikel Garcia’s two-run double in the ninth inning for the 4-3 victory over the New York Yankees. Isbel looked as if he would fly to the West Coast all by himself with an exaggerated dive into home plate.

Garcia’s hit came with two outs and prevented the Yankees from pulling off a four-game sweep at Kansas City. The victory also avoided what would have been a five-game losing streak for the Royals.

“I never get tired of bragging about the way they go about it,” said Royals manager Matt Quatraro, who watched the late rally from the clubhouse after he was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing a play at second base.

“The way they hustle, the way they never quit. It’s inspiring to me to come to work every day and be around these guys.”

The Royals will begin a nine-game, three-city road trip at 10 games over .500, even though they are just 6-11 since an eight-game winning streak late last month.

The Royals will send left-hander Cole Ragans (4-4, 3.08 ERA) to the mound Friday. Ragans, who has never faced the Dodgers, is 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA over his last five starts.

The Dodgers will send right-hander Gavin Stone (7-2, 2.93) to the mound as he navigates a breakout season. Stone, who will face the Royals for the first time, is 5-1 with a 1.90 ERA since the start of May.

Stone has won his last three starts, including at New York against the Mets on May 28 and another vs. the Yankees on Saturday when he allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings.

Following a season-high 15 runs in a victory over the Rangers on Tuesday, the Dodgers scored three combined runs over consecutive defeats to Texas. Los Angeles fell 3-1 on Thursday to drop a series for the second time in its last three tries.

“We hit some balls hard, there were some bad outs in there, but I just felt like we had a chance to build some innings and we just couldn’t do that,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Dodgers rookie Andy Pages found a bit of redemption Thursday with a home run after he was thrown out at home plate as the tying run to end a loss to the Rangers on Wednesday. Pages has seven home runs this season.

The Dodgers have been prone to sporadic offensive downturns, even with a top of the order that features Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith.

Freeman has been much improved of late, going 14-for-38 (.368) since the start of June after he went 8-for-36 (.222) over the last nine games of May.

–Field Level Media

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