Clayton Kershaw continued his great run on Friday night, and the Dodgers offense provided all the fireworks in an 9-0 rout of the Rockies on Independence Day at Coors Field.
Kershaw already no-hit the Rockies earlier this season, on June 18 at Dodger Stadium, but his performance on Friday might have been just as impressive. Kershaw allowed only two hits in eight shutout innings for his 10th win of the season, the most wins he has ever had before the All-Star break.
With four runs allowed, total, in his last seven starts, Kershaw is the first Dodgers pitcher to win seven straight starts since Kevin Brown in 2003.
Kershaw only threw 93 pitches but was pinch hit for in the top of the ninth, robbing him of an attempt to join Tom Glavine (1995, 1997) and Pat Rapp (1994, 1995) as the only pitchers with two shutouts in Denver. Kershaw struck out eight and walked one, and lowered his ERA to 1.85, which would lead MLB if Kershaw had 1⅔ more innings under his belt.
With eight scoreless innings, Kershaw improved to 36 consecutive scoreless innings, the third longest streak in Los Angeles Dodgers history, behind only Orel Hershiser (59 innings) and Don Drysdale (58).
"If you're going to design a video game pitcher where your friends would say, 'That's not fair, you can't make someone that good,' he's the guy," said Hershiser during the SportsNet LA television broadcast. "He's the best pitcher I've ever seen."
Kershaw was 2-for-4 with an RBI at the plate, tallying as many hits as he allowed. But he wasn't allowed on offense.
The Dodgers had a season-high 19 hits, including at least one by every starter. The big blows were a two-run home run by Yasiel Puig in the first inning, his first home run since May 28, snapping a string of 33 games and 139 plate appearances without one; and Scott Van Slyke, who hit s three-run home run in a five-run fifth inning that put the game even more away.
Dee Gordon, Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis each had three hits, with Gordon adding a stolen base, his 41st, Ethier adding a triple, and Ellis hitting a double.
But most importantly, the Dodgers are 1½ games ahead of San Francisco in the National League West, their largest lead of the season.
The one real negative in the game for the Dodgers was when human target Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch in his left hand in the fifth inning. He remained in the game for the remainder of that inning on offense, but was replaced on defense at shortstop by Erisbel Arruebarrena. The Dodgers said during the game that Ramirez was removed as a precaution and that no X-rays were planned, indicating that the injury isn't believed to be too serious.
On the postgame show on SportsNet LA, manager Don Mattingly told reporters Ramirez was fine and that he was originally planning to give Ramirez the day off on Saturday but with the final four innings off on Friday Ramirez will likely start again on Saturday.
The Dodgers play a pair of weekend day games to round out the series in Denver. Dan Haren gets the call in Saturday's 1 p.m. PT game, with Jorge De La Rosa starting for Colorado.
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (12), Scott Van Slyke (8)
WP - Clayton Kershaw (10-2): 8 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
LP - Jair Jurrjens (0-1): 4⅔ IP, 12 hits, 8 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts