LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yasiel Puig homered, Chase Utley notched his 1,000th career RBI, and the NL West-leading Dodgers beat the Royals 4-1 on Friday night in the opener of Kansas City’s first interleague visit to Los Angeles since 2003.
The Dodgers won their fourth in a row behind Kenta Maeda (7-4). The Japanese right-hander gave up one run and four hits in five innings, struck out five and walked two while bouncing back from a poor outing. He had allowed five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 5-3 loss at San Diego last weekend.
Los Angeles has won 12 of Maeda’s 16 starts.
Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth to earn his 21st save in as many chances.
The Dodgers improved to a major league-best 37-11 at home.
They got consecutive RBI singles from Logan Forsythe and Corey Seager in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Maeda contributed one of their four singles in the inning and scored on Seager’s hit.
Puig hit his 16th homer off Jason Hammel (4-8) in the sixth to make it 3-1.
The Dodgers extended the lead to 4-1 when Utley doubled to deep center field in the eighth, driving in Joc Pederson, who doubled leading off. Utley became the ninth active player to reach 1,000 RBIs.
The Royals, who trail first-place Cleveland in the AL Central Division, had their four-game winning streak end. They were coming off a three-game sweep at Seattle.
Kansas City’s lone run came on Alcides Escobar’s two-out RBI single in the fourth. The Royals didn’t have a baserunner past the sixth inning.
Hammel gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked three. The right-hander was also coming off a tough outing against Minnesota in his previous start. He allowed seven runs in 5 1/3 innings of a 10-5 loss last weekend.
Dodgers: LH reliever Adam Liberatore, on the DL since May 31 with left forearm tightness, had an MRI that was negative. He’s “way off” from returning, manager Dave Roberts said.
Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (3-6, 4.44 ERA) is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four starts after going 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA in his first 11 starts. He’s allowed six or fewer hits in each of his 15 starts, the longest such streak to open a season in team history.
Dodgers: RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 3.25) comes off the DL to make his first start since June 25. He turned 34 on Friday.
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