Kershaw, Dodgers use 18-hit attack to clip Rockies
By Ken Gurnick and Dargan Southard
DENVER -- The Dodgers broke loose with a six-run sixth inning, and starter Clayton Kershaw continued his pitching dominance, helping Los Angeles to an 11-4 victory over the Rockies in Monday's series opener at Coors Field.
Tied at 2, the Dodgers sent 12 men to the plate and banged out seven hits in the sixth -- the most emphatic coming on Joc Pederson's three-run homer off reliever Christian Friedrich. That gave Los Angeles a 7-2 lead and was more than enough cushion for Kershaw (4-3), who yielded just five hits and two runs over seven innings.
"Just didn't have the finish on it like his fastball can," manager Walt Weiss said of Friedrich's home-run pitch. "He's usually got a pretty good angle with his fastball, but that one to Pederson didn't have the typical finish that Christian has."
The Dodgers quickly handed Kershaw a 2-0 advantage in the second, receiving solo homers from Andre Ethier and Jimmy Rollins in a span of three batters. Nolan Arenado later erased that with a long two-run homer in the fourth, but Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick (2-7) couldn't make the offensive contributions stand up. He gave up six runs (five earned) and 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings -- his shortest outing since May 3.
"That was kind of nice," said manager Don Mattingly, whose Dodgers had scored six runs in their previous six road games. "'Dre and Jimmy got us out of the gate, they bounced right back, so Joc's home run was big."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Back to the homers: After a two-week power outage, the Dodgers opened June with a jolt as Ethier and Rollins slugged solo home runs in the second inning, and Pederson launched his 14th in the sixth, a three-run blast. Ethier (649) passed Matt Kemp (648) and moved into fifth place on the Dodgers' RBI list, behind only Steve Garvey (992), Eric Karros (976), Willie Davis (849) and Ron Cey (842).
Long-ball blues: After serving up the two homers in the second, Kendrick moved into a tie with Padres starter James Shields for most home runs surrendered this season (15). Kendrick gave up eight homers in April, backed that down to five for May, and has yielded four long balls over his last two starts. More >
Triple threat: Along with his pitching, Kershaw had a career-high three hits and raced off the mound to catch Brandon Barnes' popup in foul ground to end the fourth inning. With the double and two singles, he raised his batting average from .087 to .185. More >
"It's almost a free pass for me," Kershaw said of his batting. "Not a lot of pressure to succeed."
Going deep, again: Arenado's fourth-inning blast pushed his homer streak to three games and signaled his sixth blast in the last eight contests. Arenado's season-high for home runs is 18, but he's already hit 13 this year. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Pederson's blast was the first homer Friedrich had yielded since June 26, 2014, snapping a 38 1/3-innings streak. It was also the first home run Friedrich has surrendered as a reliever.
In the seventh inning, Barnes was credited with an infield single after video evidence showed that he did, in fact, beat out Howie Kendrick's throw from second. Rockies manager Walt Weiss challenged the play, and the initial out call was overturned.
In the eighth, Pederson threw out Wilin Rosario trying to stretch a single into a double. Weiss challenged the tag play at second, but the call was confirmed on replay.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers:Juan Nicasio will start in the opener of a twin bill against the Rockies on Tuesday at 12:10 p.m. PT, while Zack Greinke will get the ball for the nightcap at 5:40 p.m.
Rockies:Jorge De La Rosa and David Hale will be the twin-bill starters on Tuesday. De La Rosa will start Game 1, which is slated for 1:10 p.m. MT, and Hale will start the nightcap at 6:40 p.m.