DENVER (AP) — Clayton Kershaw pitched his way out of trouble time after time over seven solid innings, Chase Utley had a two-run triple as part of a five-run second and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the NL West-leading Colorado Rockies 6-2 on Friday night.
Cody Bellinger added a solo homer in the eighth to help the Dodgers pull within 1 1/2 games of Colorado.
Kershaw (6-2) ran his record to 89-0 when the Dodgers give him at least four runs of support. He also improved to 20-6 against the Rockies, surpassing fellow lefty Randy Johnson for most all-time wins versus the franchise.
On a tranquil evening, Kershaw allowed two runs and seven hits, but worked his way out of trouble with the assistance of three double plays.
The Dodgers took advantage of an erratic Tyler Chatwood (3-5), who walked four and allowed five runs over 4 1/3 innings.
In the pivotal second, Los Angeles sent nine batters to the plate and drew three walks, all of which scored. Utley hustled for his second triple of the season and Corey Seager added a two-run double.
Those five early runs were more than enough for Kershaw.
Carlos Gonzalez finished with two hits and an RBI for Colorado.
Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts sees INF Adrian Gonzalez (right elbow soreness) going on a rehab assignment next week to play two or three games. ... The last time Roberts heard from OF Andre Ethier, his back was giving him some problems when he runs or bends over. “Physically, he’s just limited,” Roberts said. “If someone told me late June (for a return), I’d be very excited.”
Rockes: RHP Jon Gray (stress fracture in his left foot) has been cleared to step out of his boot for an hour a day. Soon, he will start running/walking in the pool to strengthen the foot. “Slowly transitioning out of it,” he said. “Hopefully, it doesn’t take three or four weeks.” ... C Tony Wolters (concussion) went 0-for-3 and caught six innings in his first rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque.
The prospect of facing Kershaw had the Rockies a little more amped than usual.
“It’s just human nature when you face a superstar,” manager Bud Black explained. “Whether it’s a team playing against Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or the Warriors, or teams playing against the Patriots, you get up for it. With the big boys like Kershaw ... teams get up for those guys.”
RHP Jeff Hoffman was optioned to Albuquerque after picking up his first major league win Thursday. The team recalled outfielder Raimel Tapia, who entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth and walked.
Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (3-0, 2.73 ERA) has struck out 38 and walked 10 in 29 2/3 innings this season.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (2-3, 6.69 ERA) had his start pushed back to Saturday because of inflammation in his left knee. He will wear a protective brace.