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 broken bone in his left hand, and while he didn’t need surgery, he was sidelined for weeks, if not months.

“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 think it’s the first time I’ve ever been hit in the arm, so I’m not sure [how bad it was],” Betts covered with his left arm after the game. “I’m numb, it hurts. Unfortunately, it’s broken. There’s nothing we can do now.

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Betts did not travel with the team to Denver on Sunday night. He will be examined by hand specialist Dr. Steven Shinn on Monday.

“What’s next? I don’t really know,” Betts said. “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.”

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 really up to the rest of the team to pick him up.

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.

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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.

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.

“I definitely knew I had to be efficient and try to fill the zone,” said Glasnow, who improved to 7-5 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 starts. “I tried to step up, mix up my pitches a little more, didn’t rely on the fastball as much, mixed in the two-seamer, and it worked today. “

Glasnow’s only real trouble came in the top of the fourth, when Bobby Witt Jr. reached on a one-out infield single and Vinny Basquantino walked. He escaped the jam by striking out Salvador Perez in the dirt on an 83-mile curve and getting Adam Frazier to ground out to Betts, who went to the second-base side of the bag for Frazier’s 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)

“He’s absolutely fantastic,” Ohtani said of Glasnow. “Really, there were no threats throughout the game.”

Glasnow needed just 85 pitches to complete seven innings, 62 of them strikes. He leans heavily on his four-seam fastball, which averages 96.0 mph, and an 83-mph curve, which he uses to induce eight of his 15 swinging strikes. He also had five strikeouts with the curve.

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“The last couple of starts I’ve been able to land it for strikes,” Glasnow said of his big breaking ball. “I’ve made some mechanical changes to try to keep it in the zone as opposed to always trying to hit guys.”

Glasnow’s third pitch is usually an 89-mph slider that he threw 15 times on Sunday, but he threw a 96.8-mph two-seam singer 15 times on Sunday after throwing just 64 times in his first 14 starts.

“It’s basically a heater, so it’s not like you have to learn a new pitch, and I think it gets me behind my four-seamer,” Glasnow said. “I’ve been more comfortable throwing it to righties and today to lefties. I’m trying to mix it up a little bit more to be unpredictable.

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.

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.

“That swing he took to left-center for that homer, it was as good a swing as I’ve ever seen,” Roberts said. “When he’s doing things right, getting his pitches, using a large portion of the field, it’s great.”

Ohtani then crushed an 80-mph first-pitch slider from Singer over the right-field wall to lead off the sixth inning for his 19th homer of the season and the 18th multiple-homer game of his career, a shot that hit his bat at 110.7 mph and traveled 400 feet.

Following Freeman’s 10th homer of the season, Singer drove a 2-and-0 slider 401 feet to right-center field to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

“That last homer was a slider down,” Roberts said of Ohtani, “and the fact that he hit it like that instead of pulling it wrong or hitting it on the ground speaks to him seeing the ball well.”

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