Rockies savor big night against Dodgers' ace

Rockies savor big night against Dodgers' ace

DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado didn't just strategize about facing Dodgers star left-hander Clayton Kershaw on Saturday night. He practically meditated about it.

"I kind of set myself up, I told myself: 'This is what I'm going to do today. I'm going to commit to it every at-bat,' and that's what I did," Arenado said. "I'm not going to say exactly what I did but it paid off in the first at-bat."

Maybe the Rockies have osmosis working. Arenado clubbed a rare homer off a Kershaw curveball --the fourth since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015 -- in the first inning. In the sixth, Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra hit consecutive homers -- the first time that had occurred in Kershaw's career -- as the Rockies took a 4-2 victory at Coors Field.

The successful approaches of Rockies' hitters was every bit as notable as the rare home run trivia. Kershaw has gone 10-0 in his last 11 starts against them, but these Rockies forced him out of the game after managing eight hits in six innings.

Arenado's solo homer

Arenado added a bloop single in the sixth, which made Reynolds' homer a two-run shot. Charlie Blackmon, who entered 2-for-19, tripled and singled. Trevor Story finished the night at .190 but he bested Kershaw for his third double. Then there were the homers.

"We put some good swings on him," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "There was the breaking ball that Nolan hit, and the next two homers were fastballs that we just got on top of. They were barreled up. That doesn't happen.

"He chewed us up a few times inside. The slider was good, as usual. We just stayed on him and squared up a couple balls."

Kershaw wasn't himself, but he still showed good stuff. He struck out six with no walks, and to score the Rockies had to hit home runs.

"I think my stuff is fine," Kershaw said. "I just had some bad pitches there and tonight they went over the fence. It wasn't great obviously but I don't know. I'm going to try and get better for the next one."

Reynolds' homer was his third during a hot start, as he's now hitting .409.

"You know how baseball is," Reynolds said. "You know you can play here. You get a couple hits, get some confidence and ride it out as long as you can do it."

Parra had two hits off Kershaw to bring his career average against him to .364. But Parra cherishes every hit.

"He's the best pitcher right now in the big leagues," said Parra, who said he had no idea why he happily tapped his batting helmet as he rounded first base on the homer. "I just wanted to put the ball in play. I don't want to try to do too much. I know he's a nasty pitcher."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.