Third Place Beckons As Dodgers Trip Up Rockies En Route To Fourth Straight Win

Jansen is the ringleader of the playpen which continues to dominate in July.

Clayton Kershaw saw his unearned streak reach 29 innings before watching the Rockies bounce a few singles through for a run, but I doubt he cared as he still pitched the Dodgers to a 3 - 2 victory over the Rockies.  

The Dodgers have now won four games in a row for the second time in July and are now within a win tomorrow night of taking over 3rd place in the NL West. The team that was once declared the NL West winner by Fangraphs back in April might be fighting to stay out of last place as the season wears on. 

The Dodgers winning hasn't been pretty as some bad defensive play has helped them plate a few runs, and tonight was no different. In the bottom of the fourth in a scoreless game, Rafy Furcal lofted a fly ball to Ty Wiggington who simply muffed it allowing Furcal to reach second base. Andre was walked bringing up Mr. Kemp who promptly laced a two run double into right center. Aaron Miles then did what you want your number five smurf to do and dribbled a ground ball to 1st allowing Kemp to take third. Juan Rivera then lifted a fly ball that the right fielder should have handled since he was coming in, but Mark Ellis vultured it while backpedaling, and then tripped over the right fielder who had to hit the ground to escape a collision. Matt Kemp pranced home with what would turn out to be the difference in the game. 

That was the extent of the Dodger offense tonight but it was enough as Kershaw, Guerrier, and Jansen dominated the Rockie lineup. Kershaw gave up two runs, one run in the fifth and one run in the 7th but both were the result of seeing eye ground ball hit 'n' run singles. For the most part Kershaw was his dominating self, striking out six in six 1/3 innings. The Rockies did get eight hits off of him but darn if I can recall more then two of them being hit hard.  

The win was not easy. With the score 3 - 1, the Rockies plated their second run in the 7th but it wasn't easy for them either. E Young hit a single, Fowler followed with a perfect single into right field putting runners on 1st and 3rd. Then Herrera hit a shot to Juan Rivera who gloved it right at the bag for the out and was able to keep Young from scoring. Young then scored on the second out of the inning when Helton also grounded to 1st base. Kershaw was then pulled for Matt Guerrier who got Tulo to hit a dribbler that Navarro took care of. So far in this series Tulo has done everything but look impressive in clutch situations.  Guerrier then took the mound in the 8th and made fast work setting the Rockies down in order.

With a 3 - 2 lead and Javy Guerra having been used in three straight games, Donny turned to Kenley Jansen to close the door. This would be Jansen's 3rd straight appearance but he's barely broken a sweat and tonight would be no different. In as impressive a performance you can have Jansen set down the Rockies on seven pitches, seven strikes, one fly ball, two three pitch strikeouts.  

Dodger Notes:

 

  •  HE’S PRETTY GOOD: Clayton Kershaw threw a career-high 125 pitches en route to his fourth consecutive win and his seventh straight win at home. With tonight’s victory, Kershaw improved to 12-4, leaving him one shy of his career high of 13 wins (13-10) set in 2010. Kershaw’s run of 27.0 innings without allowing an earned run was snapped in the fifth inning, when Colorado strung together three straight two-out singles for its first run. Kershaw cemented his bid for his first NL Pitcher of the Month Award with his fourth win of the month (4-1) to go along with a 2.02 ERA (8 ER/35.2 IP) and 45 strikeouts in five starts. With the win, the 23-year-old improved to 8-1 with a 1.94 ERA (19 ER/88.0 IP) in 12 home starts this season.
  • ONE-DERS: The Dodgers won their third consecutive one-run game (July 23 vs. Washington, July 20 at San Francisco) and improved to 15-12 in one-run games, including a 12-3 mark at home.
  • GO FOUR IT: The Dodgers beat the Rockies 3-2 for their fourth straight win to pull within 0.5 games of Colorado for third place in the NL West. Los Angeles tied its season-long home winning streak at four games (also July 7-10) and has won eight of its last nine contests at Dodger Stadium.
  •  KK-KENLY!: Kenley Jansen entered the game in the ninth for his first save opportunity since May 23 at Houston and locked down his second save of the season (other: May 13 vs. Arizona). Jansen retired the Rockies in order, striking out two, to extend his scoreless innings streak to 16.0 over 14 games since coming off the disabled list on June 18. In that span, Jansen has allowed just three hits (3-for-51, .059), while striking out 26 and walking only seven. Jansen is 6-for-7 in save opportunities in his career.
  •  M(ATT)-V-P!: Matt Kemp had a hand in all three Dodger runs tonight, lining a two-run double into the right-center gap in the fourth and coming around to score on a sacrifice fly later in the inning. Kemp ranks second in the NL with 75 RBI, two behind Ryan Howard’s league-leading 77.
  •  JAMEY ROCKS!: Former Rockie Jamey Carroll went 2-for-3 and raised his batting average to .516 (16-for-31) in 11 games against Colorado this season. In his career, Carroll has hit .358 (38-for-106) against his former team, which is the fifth-highest batting average against Colorado among active players.
  • Rockies vs Dodgers coverage

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    Final - 7.26.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    Colorado Rockies 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 8 1
    Los Angeles Dodgers 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 X 3 4 1
    WP: Clayton Kershaw (12 - 4)
    SV: Kenley Jansen (2)
    LP: Jhoulys Chacin (8 - 8)

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