Saturday, July 20, 2024

Dodgers Mookie Betts will miss several weeks with a broken hand

The good vibes derived from Tyler Glasnow’s dominant seven-inning start and Shohei Ohtani’s two-homer game hit the back of Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts’ left arm Sunday with a 98-mph fastball in the seventh inning. field for a few minutes before coming out of the game.

The Dodgers defeated the Kansas City Royals 3-0 In front of a sellout crowd of 52,789 at Dodger Stadium, but they lost their dynamic leadoff man in the process — X-rays showed Betts suffered a fractured bone in his left hand, and although he didn’t need surgery, he was sidelined for several weeks.

“It’s a big blow, that,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I feel really bad for Mookie. He had an MVP season. It’s very unfortunate, but you have to move on and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to be fine. We have good players.”

Mookie Betts was hit by a pitch during the seventh inning Sunday against the Royals at Dodger Stadium.

(Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

Mookie Betts, left, writhes on the ground after being hit by a pitch as manager Dave Roberts and a team trainer look on.

Mookie Betts, left, is hit by a pitch and writhes on the ground as manager Dave Roberts and a team trainer watch him during the seventh inning Sunday.

(Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

Betts, who is batting .304 with an .893 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 10 homers, 16 doubles, 40 RBIs and 50 runs, was 1-and-2 when he couldn’t get out of the way. Royals reliever Dan Altavilla is an up-and-in heater. The ball hit Betts on the back of his left hand, which Betts caught as he fell to the ground.

“I was numb and it hurt,” Betts said. “Unfortunately, it’s broken. That’s it [nothing] We can actually do that now. … What’s next, I’m not sure. Obviously, I’ll be watching the boys and cheering them on, but other than that, it’s rest, maybe use it as a mental break and be ready to go whenever it heals.

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Betts will be examined by hand specialist Dr. Steven Shinn on Monday.

Betts moved from right field to second base and from second base to shortstop over the winter because of Gavin Lucks’ throwing woes in early March.

The Dodgers have a great defensive option at shortstop in Miguel Rojas, but Rojas is nowhere near a Bets hitter, and he has been slowed this season by foot injuries that have prevented him from playing every day.

Shohei Ohtani hit a solo home run off Royals pitcher Brady Singer in the third inning at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.

Shohei Ohtani hit a solo home run off Royals pitcher Brady Singer in the third inning at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.

(Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

Utility man Kike Hernandez will also be used at shortstop, Roberts said. The team will recall left fielder Miguel Vargas from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace Betts on the roster. Ohtani could be moved to the leadoff spot in the lineup.

“It’s very difficult to watch as a teammate,” Ohtani, speaking through an interpreter, said of Betts. “He’s obviously a very important part of the team. If he’s out for a while, it’s up to the rest of the team to pick him up so we can continue.

Betts’ injury, which came on the same day Dodgers pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto was placed on the 15-day injured list because of a rotator-cuff strain, put a damper on a successful afternoon for the Dodgers.

Glasnow allowed three hits, struck out nine and walked one, over seven scoreless innings, while Ohtani and Freddie Freeman sparked the offense with solo home runs.

Setup man Daniel Hudson struck out two of three batters in a scoreless eighth inning, and Evan Phillips pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save.

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Glasnow gave the Dodgers much-needed length after using a “bullpen game” Thursday night against the Texas Rangers, and was forced into another bullpen game when Yamamoto left Saturday night’s start against the Royals after two innings due to injury.

Glasnow was retired in the first two innings before MJ hit a leadoff single in the third. He gave up to Melendez, who was eventually wiped out on Kyle Isbell’s inning-ending double-play grounder.

Dodgers starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow delivers during the first inning Sunday.

Dodgers starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow delivers during the first inning Sunday.

(Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

His real trouble came in the fourth, when Bobby Witt Jr. reached on a one-out infield single and Vinny Pasquantino walked. But he escaped the jam by hitting Salvador Perez with an 83-mile curve into the dirt and getting Adam Frazier to ground out to Betts, who went to the second-base side of the bag for Frazier’s grounder.

Glasnow went five straight starts from May 10 to June 4 in which his teammates did not score a run while he was pitching, a streak that was snapped on June 9 when Glasnow fell behind by three runs in a 6–4 loss to the New York Yankees.

The run support wasn’t perfect for Glasnow on Sunday, but it was enough to improve to 7-5 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 starts on the season.

Ohtani gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead when he “used a big chunk of the field,” as Roberts likes to say, crushing a 451-foot solo home run — the second-longest of the season — out to left-center field. Royals right-hander Brady Singer in the third inning.

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Roberts said Ohtani has been “spinning a little bit more” in his swing over the past week, causing him to pull pitches early and hit several ground balls to the right side, but he stayed on Singer’s 93-mile sinker. His 18th homer of the season was a laser off his bat at 114.3 mph.

Ohtani then crushed an 80-mile first-pitch slider from Singer over the right-field wall to lead off the sixth inning with his 19th homer of the season and 18th multiple-homer game of his career.

Freeman followed with his 10th homer of the season.

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