Great as Clayton Kershaw is, not even he was enough for the Los Angeles Dodgers to snap a season-worst losing streak that was extended to seven games. The Colorado Rockies ambushed Kershaw for three runs in the first inning en route to a 9-1 thrashing.
Kershaw failed to make it through the fourth, as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts brought the hook with a runner on first base and two outs. Excluding the injury-shortened outing in July, Kershaw’s 3.2 innings pitched marked his shortest start since only going three innings last September in his return from the 60-day disabled list.
The Rockies put at least one runner on against Kershaw, which included opening the game with four straight hits. It marked the first time in his career that the first four batters each collected a hit.
A pair of walks and Chris Taylor’s error on a routine line drive led to the Rockies loading the bases with two outs in the second inning. Kershaw managed to escape the jam by striking out Mark Reynolds.
The Rockies struck again in the third on Trevor Story’s fly ball down the right-field line that somehow landed fair and carried into the stands for a ground-rule RBI double. Jonthan Lucroy’s sacrifice fly extended the Rockies’ lead to 4-0 before Kershaw could get out of the inning.
After Story’s one-out infield single in the fifth, Carlos Gonzalez beat the shift with a base hit to left field and he advanced to second base when the throw went to third. Brock Stewart and Yasmani Grandal got crossed up, with the passed ball scoring Story. Lucroy’s flare single then drove in Gonzalez.
Gonzalez’s home run off Edward Paredes in the seventh was the first extra-base hit and run the left-hander allowed this season. He’d thrown 7.1 scoreless innings across eight relief appearances prior to Thursday.
Paredes was removed after a trio of singles loaded the bases with nobody out. Josh Ravin struck out three but not before issuing a pair of walks to bring in two runs.
The Dodgers didn’t manage their first hit off Jon Gray until Taylor’s two-out single in the third. He was promptly thrown out on his attempt to steal second base on a pitch that kicked away from Lucroy.
Cody Bellinger doubled in the fourth inning and scored on Yasiel Puig’s two-out double. The double was the first of two Bellinger would go on to hit. The run was the only Gray allowed on four hits in his six innings of work.
The loss was the Dodgers’ 12th in their last 13 games. They have scored two runs or fewer in nine games during that stretch, including a 1-0 victory.
A bright spot for the Dodgers came when Walker Buehler entered in the eighth inning for his MLB debut. Gonzalez’s leadoff single was erased on a double play, and Buehler then induced a groundout to face the minimum.
The organization’s top pitching prospect froze Charlie Blackmon with a curveball to start the ninth with his first Major League strikeout. Buehler then struck out Alexi Amarista and got a weak grounder to complete a 1-2-3 inning.