LOS ANGELES -- Anchored by two of their six All-Stars, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner, the Dodgers swept the Royals for the first time in franchise history with a 5-2 win on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.Turner, who won the National League Final Vote competition, racked up his first multi-home run
LOS ANGELES -- Anchored by two of their six All-Stars, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner, the Dodgers swept the Royals for the first time in franchise history with a 5-2 win on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
Turner, who won the National League Final Vote competition, racked up his first multi-home run game since July 21, belting a solo shot in the first and a two-run jack in the third to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.
"It doesn't matter who he's facing, he continues to put good at-bats up," Kershaw said. "I don't have a scouting report on him, but it seems he has no weakness to exploit as a pitcher. He does everything well, that's why he's going to Miami."
The Dodgers (61-29) enter the All-Star break with the best record in baseball and have won 26 of their last 30 games.
"How long is it a hot streak, or is it just us?" Kershaw asked rhetorically. "I guess we'll find out next half."
Kershaw went the distance for the first time this season, fanning 13, giving up six hits on 99 pitches in earning his Major League-leading 14th win. Kershaw became the first pitcher in Major League history to strike out at least 13 batters in a complete game throwing fewer than 100 pitches. The ace collected his 59th career double-digit strikeout game, and he hasn't lost an outing since May 6, going 10-0 over that span.
In his second start since straining an oblique muscle in May, Danny Duffy yielded five runs and six hits in seven innings for the Royals, getting two runs of support from Eric Hosmer's home run in the fourth. Hosmer was the most successful hitter against Kershaw, going 3-for-4, while extending his hitting streak to 15 games.
"We're in good shape," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We battled back after a tough April. We got a long second half ahead of us, but we feel like we got the firepower to compete. Like I said, this would be a good four days for everybody to recharge their batteries a little bit and get back after it next weekend."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Twice as nice: The Dodgers were already up, 1-0, thanks to Turner's solo shot in the first, but the 32-year-old wasn't done. Turner lifted a 91.5 mph two-seam fastball from Duffy to center field to give the Dodgers a comfortable four-run lead. Statcast™ measured the launch angle at 35 degrees.
"It was hot out there [94 degrees at game time], I was just trying to bring some rain down," Turner said.
Hosmer's homer: Kershaw cruised through 3 1/3 innings before the Royals were able to put runs on the board. After Lorenzo Cain's single, Hosmer drove Kershaw's fastball to center, which barely cleared the wall, to cut into the Dodgers' lead. Hosmer, who finished 3-for-4, is now 5-for-8 lifetime against Kershaw. More >
"It's definitely not how we wanted to end the break. At the same time, [the Dodgers] are playing great baseball over there. If anything it was a bit of a wakeup call for us, to see how good they're playing, and we got to realize that we can't make key mistakes, and we got to capitalize on their mistakes when you're playing good teams like this." -- Hosmer, on the first half
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Dodgers ended the first half with the best record in baseball for the first time since 2009, when that club went 56-32. Their current .678 winning percentage is fourth-best in club history, behind the 1942 (52-21, .712), '52 (51-21, .708) and '55 (58-26, .690) squads.
Home-plate umpire Kerwin Danley had to exit the game, shortly after taking Cody Bellinger's foul tip in the first inning off his facemask. Danley nearly fell to the ground, but Royals catcher Andrew Butera was able to break Danley's fall. Danley stayed in the game to call the final out, but first-base umpire Adam Hamari took over behind the plate at the start of the second. Crew chief Bill Miller later said Danley exhibited symptoms of a concussion, and he was taken for an MRI. More >
Royals: After the All-Star break, the Royals will open a three-game series against the Rangers at 7:15 p.m. CT on Friday at Kauffman Stadium. Yost doesn't have his rotation set, but he hopes to get positive news on Nathan Karns, who will be evaluated after the break to see if he will need thoracic outlet surgery.
Dodgers: Coming out of the All-Star break, the Dodgers will open a three-game series at 4:10 p.m. PT on Friday at Marlins Park. Manager Dave Roberts announced that right-hander Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood and Rich Hill would start the three games against the Marlins. Roberts had said before Sunday's game that Kershaw won't pitch in the series.
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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.
Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles and covered the Royals on Sunday.