Dodgers' stellar run ends at 12, one shy of franchise mark
Anderson grinds out 6 innings against Royals, but LA suffers just its 6th loss since June 29
KANSAS CITY -- The Dodgers’ longest winning streak since 1976 ended at the hands of the Royals in a 4-0 loss on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
Los Angeles (79-34) fell one win shy of tying the franchise record of 13, which had previously been done twice (1962 and ‘65). It’s been a remarkable stretch for the Dodgers, who suffered just their sixth loss since June 29.
On Sunday, the Dodgers tied a season low with two hits as young Royals right-hander Brady Singer threw six scoreless innings of one-hit ball and Kansas City’s bullpen did the rest.
“As a lefty [batter], [Singer] is really good at that two-seamer in, which opens up his slider away,” said first baseman Freddie Freeman, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. “He threw a lot more sliders today than I was expecting, about 55 percent heaters, and I think I only got two or three heaters in my at-bats today.
“He just mixed really well and had about 94 to 96 [mph] with front doors, so it kind of opened it up when you were looking in there.”
“He was good. He’s a good young pitcher,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It was a sinker, a slider off that and a changeup in there. We just didn’t see well today. He’s having a good year and we couldn’t figure him out. He kept us at bay for six innings and then we couldn’t recover.”
The Dodgers’ best chance to score came in the eighth inning with runners on second and third, but Max Muncy struck out swinging against closer Scott Barlow, who also pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
“It’s baseball, you’re not going to win the next 50 games in a row, so I think we were due for one,” said second baseman Gavin Lux, who went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. “We’ll just get back to it tomorrow and face another good [Brewers] rotation.”
It’s just the fifth time the Dodgers have been shut out this season and the first since June 27. Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts were the only two batters to get hits on Sunday.
"They don’t chase a lot off the plate,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “If you’re not on the plate, they’re not usually pulling the trigger. And that makes them tough to pitch to. You’re just not able to expand much.
“You have to make quality pitches. They’re ready to go, but they’re pretty disciplined in the strike zone. That’s going to give deeper counts."
Though the streak is over, it was impressive the way the National League West leaders did it.
The Dodgers outscored their opponents by 60 runs in those 12 games with an average margin of victory of five runs during the stretch. They won all of those games by multiple runs, the first team to do so since the 1922 Pirates did it in 13 straight wins.
Los Angeles starter Tyler Anderson suffered just his second loss of the season -- allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk to go with four strikeouts. He also worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third by inducing Hunter Dozier to ground into a 5-3 double play.
The Dodgers were in unfamiliar territory early on when Anderson yielded a first-inning run on a double by Salvador Perez. It was just the second time during the streak that Los Angeles didn’t score the first run of the game.
“I thought he was fine,” Roberts said of Anderson. “I think the main takeaway is that he got through six innings. It was a quality outing and I think outside of that homer [by Vinnie Pasquantino off Craig Kimbrel in the eighth] and the Salvy double, there wasn’t much hard contact.”
The Dodgers will look to bounce back and become the first team to 80 wins this season when they open a four-game set against the Brewers at American Family Field starting on Monday.
“The cost of winning a lot of games is there is a lot of leverage guys that you use,” Roberts said. “I think the takeaway for me is that we used two relievers today [Alex Vesia and Kimbrel] going into a four-game series against a really good Milwaukee team that can prevent runs.
“I’m expecting to play some tight ballgames and getting our guys reset today is one positive, but it’s one baseball game and we won the series.”
Los Angeles is still on pace to break the franchise’s single-season wins mark of 105 set in 1953, when the club was known as the Brooklyn Dodgers.
“I think you guys heard the music when you walked in here,” Freeman joked after the game. “It’s a testament to Brady [Singer] and their bullpen for keeping us out of it.”