Dodgers extend win streak to five, snap Rox road run at six
By Ken Gurnick and Thomas Harding
LOS ANGELES -- Howie Kendrick homered and doubled, Adrian Gonzalez had a pair of RBI doubles and Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 in six innings of a 7-3 win over the Rockies on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, extending the Dodgers' win streak to five games and snapping Colorado's road win streak at six.
Troy Tulowitzki and Charlie Blackmon homered off Kershaw, with two of the three Colorado runs unearned. Kershaw is 5-0 in his last five starts against the Rockies, including a no-hitter. Starter Kyle Kendrick went 4 2/3 innings for the Rockies and was charged with six runs on seven hits.
"I've pitched long enough and I know what I'm doing -- I'm falling behind counts, and that's what's going to happen," said Kendrick, who walked four, including two leadoff men, who scored.
"He left a few balls over the plate and we didn't miss them," said Howie Kendrick. "You have to hit those mistakes. The biggest thing for us was that we put more runs on the board and gave Clayton a cushion."
Gonzalez's three hits gave him 22 in the first 10 games, a franchise record. Kershaw, last year's MVP and Cy Young winner, is 1-1 with a 4.42 ERA. He has 44 strikeouts and two walks in his last 28 innings against Colorado with six consecutive wins. The Rockies had 16 strikeouts. More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Off and running: For the second consecutive game, the Dodgers put up a three-run first inning. Kendrick's two-run homer made the most noise, but a key play was Jimmy Rollins' steal of second base, when shortstop Tulowitzki dropped catcher Nick Hundley's throw at the bag while trying to make the tag. Gonzalez then doubled home Rollins.
Can't keep him in the park: Tulowitzki singled off Kershaw with one out in the first, then Kershaw retired everyone else until Tulowitzki's leadoff at-bat in the fourth. Tulowitzki lined a 1-2 fastball into the left-field seats for his first home run of the season. It was Tulowitzki's 17th homer against the Dodgers. Only Matt Holliday (22) and Albert Pujols (18) have more among active players. Blackmon's homer an inning later was his first in 61 at-bats at Dodger Stadium. It marked the Rockies' first multi-homer game against Kershaw since May 2, 2012, when Carlos Gonzalez homered twice and Wilin Rosario homered once in an 8-5 Rockies win at Coors Field. More >
"Not too many moral victories in this league, but I felt like we competed offensively," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Kershaw is going to get his strikeouts, but I feel like we'll bounce back tomorrow."
Another gun in right field: Filling in for Yasiel Puig and his power arm in right field, Andre Ethier threw out Rosario trying to score from second base on Corey Dickerson's two-out single in the fourth inning, with catcher Yasmani Grandal tagging Rosario's hand before it hit the plate.
Pitching letdown: Kendrick struggled at the worst possible times. After Tulowitzki's homer, he walked fourth-inning leadoff hitter Grandal and wild-pitched him home with two out. Blackmon cut it to 4-3 in the top of the fifth. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Rosario couldn't handle Carl Crawford's grounder to first base, then Kendrick coughed up consecutive RBI doubles to Gonzalez and Kendrick and eventually left after 4 2/3 innings. After seven scoreless innings and no walks in his Opening Day victory at Milwaukee, Kendrick has walked nine in 9 2/3 innings and yielded 14 earned runs while losing his last two starts.
"Had I been a little bit better, I would've had ball four go by without check-swinging at it, so a little bad baseball went to my favor." -- Blackmon, who homered off Kershaw to end a nine-pitch at-bat, but would have walked had he held up on a high, 3-1 fastball
"He doesn't quite seem like himself." -- Manager Don Mattingly on Clayton Kershaw
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Gonzalez doubled in each of his first two plate appearances Friday night, and has been on base at least twice in all 10 Dodger games. It ties Jackie Robinson (1952) for the second-longest such streak in Dodgers history. Zack Wheat (1923) reached base twice in each of his first 13 games of the season
Rockies righty Jordan Lyles will start, and Carlos Gonzalez -- who sat Friday but has a favorable matchup against Dodgers starter Zack Greinke -- should return to the lineup for Saturday night's game at 6:10 PT/7:10 MT. For the Dodgers, the wait continues for the return to the lineup of right fielder Puig, who hasn't played since Monday night, when he felt his left hamstring tighten. Greinke is 19-1 against the NL West since joining the Dodgers.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.