A.J. Ellis takes a hit in Dodgers’ 5-4 win over Royals

A.J. Ellis
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis reacts after being hit by a pitch to force in the go-ahead run in the team’s 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
(Ed Zurga / Getty Images)

KEY MOMENT: A.J. Ellis, in the batter’s box, turned his back to the mound. It was the eighth inning, with the score tied, 4-4. The bases were loaded. The ball was coming at him. Ellis realized the ball would hit him. He absorbed the hit by pitch, and his reward was the game-winning run batted in.

AT THE PLATE: Dee Gordon had four hits, including a triple. He also stole his 40th base — in his 80th game, getting to 40 faster than any player in Dodgers history except Maury Wills. No Dodger has stolen more than 40 in a full season since Juan Pierre had 64 in 2007. Matt Kemp hit his eighth home run — all off right-handers, for the right-handed Kemp — and Yasiel Puig tripled and doubled.

ON THE MOUND: Dan Haren delivered his shortest start of the season, giving up four runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. Haren gave up two home runs and has given up 16 this season, fourth-most among National League pitchers. Jamey Wright relieved Haren and earned the victory with 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Wright’s earned-run average is 2.17; the 39-year-old never has posted an ERA below 3.00 in a full season. With Kenley Jansen used on four of the five previous days, Brian Wilson worked the ninth for his first save in two years.

RAMIREZ TO DOC: The Dodgers, not sure when shortstop Hanley Ramirez might return, plan to send him to team orthopedist Neal ElAttrache for testing and evaluation on Thursday. For the second consecutive game — and the fourth time in 14 games — Ramirez did not start because of an irritated joint in his right shoulder. Wednesday’s game marks the eighth this season in which Ramirez has not started because of injury — four for this shoulder injury, three because of a bruised calf, and one because of a bruised thumb.


ROSTER MOVE: The Dodgers promoted first baseman Clint Robinson from triple-A Albuquerque and designated utilityman Jamie Romak for assignment. Romak, 28, batted .048 in his major league debut, with one hit and eight strikeouts in 21 at-bats. Robinson, 29, was promoted to serve as a left-handed pinch-hitter. He batted .309 at Albuquerque, including a .355 average against right-handers.

SHORT HOPS: The Dodgers expect to activate third baseman Juan Uribe on Thursday. Uribe has not played since May 20 because of a strained hamstring. … Outfielder Joc Pederson, the Dodgers’ top prospect, is expected to sit out at least 10 days because of a separated right shoulder. Pederson is batting .319 in 74 games at Albuquerque, with 17 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

UP NEXT: The Dodgers’ Josh Beckett (5-4, 2.28) faces the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright (10-3, 2.08) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Dodger Stadium. TV: SportsNet LA. Radio: 570, 1020.

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