Surging Dodgers defeat Rockies inspite of Kershaw


By PAT GRAHAM

AP Sports Writer

DENVER — Clayton Kershaw turned in a clunker, a rare bad outing for one of baseball’s best pitchers.

After the game, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was asked a question he hardly ever hears: What’s wrong with Kershaw?

“Who got the win today?” Mattingly teased.

Kershaw, of course, even if he didn’t have his electric stuff. The lefty surrendered a career-high 11 hits in five shaky innings and Yasiel Puig scored the go-ahead run before leaving with a strained right knee as the surging Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 10-8 on Monday.

It was hardly vintage Kershaw (14-8), who struggled with his fastball command. He vowed to quickly repress this performance, not take a single thing from it.

“There’s nothing to gain from pitching bad like this,” said Kershaw, who gave up five runs as his ERA jumped from a league-leading 1.72 to 1.89. “I’m just going to chalk this up to a bad start and enjoy getting a win I probably didn’t deserve.”

Puig certainly had an interesting day. He was called out for interference on the bases in the first inning, hit by a pitch in the fourth and then aggravated his knee on an awkward slide into third base in the sixth. He gingerly jogged home from third on Hanley Ramirez’s sacrifice fly, before being replaced in right field.

Mattingly will sit Puig today, but was planning to do so anyway. Puig said through a translator the knee has been giving him trouble for a little while now and just acted up.

“Going to get treatment see how it feels,” Puig said.

Andre Ethier had three hits, including a two-run homer, to lift the Dodgers to their fifth straight victory. They’re now 35-8 since the All-Star break.

Jeff Manship (0-5) took the loss as he gave up three runs — two earned — in relief of starter Chad Bettis.

The Dodgers’ bullpen struggled late, with Ronald Belisario allowing two runs in the eighth to cut the lead to 8-7. But he got Michael Cuddyer to hit into an inning-ending double play with the tying runner on third.

Los Angeles added two insurance runs in the ninth on a run-scoring single from Juan Uribe and an RBI double from Carl Crawford.

That came in handy as Kenley Jansen endured a rocky ninth, giving up a solo homer to Wilin Rosario, before picking up his 25th save in 28 chances.

Kershaw had a forgettable first inning, giving up an uncharacteristic three runs. After that, he quickly settled into a groove, even helping himself out at the plate with a tiebreaking two-run single in the fifth.

But the lead didn’t last, with Nolan Arenado hitting an RBI double in the bottom half of the inning and later scoring Jordan Pacheco’s single.

Kershaw came into game with opposing teams hitting just .186 off of him. The Rockies, using a makeshift lineup that didn’t include Troy Tulowitzki or Todd Helton, pounded him for 11 hits.

“Just be aggressive with him,” Arenado said of his team’s approach at the plate. “His stuff is really good. You try not to get behind in the count and we got to him pretty good.”

Sure did.

“I didn’t pitch great. They got a ton of hits. Just one of those days,” said Kershaw, who was 2 for 2 with a sacrifice at the plate. “They beat me up pretty good. The team picked me up. Got a bunch of runs today. Feels good.”

And well-warranted, in Mattingly’s opinion.

“He deserved one of these as good as he’s pitched,” Mattingly said. “Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with Clayton Kershaw.”

PIRATES 5, BREWERS 2

MILWAUKEE — Neil Walker hit a three-run homer, Charlie Morton pitched seven strong innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Milwaukee to retake the NL Central lead.

The Pirates moved one game ahead of St. Louis. Pittsburgh won the opener of a nine-game road trip.

Walker’s homer made it 5-1 in the seventh.

Morton (7-3) gave up seven hits and one earned run. He won his fourth straight decision.

Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances.

Tyler Thornburg (1-1) allowed two runs in six innings.

PHILS 3, NATIONALS 2

PHILADELPHIA — Carlos Ruiz hit a tiebreaking RBI single in Philadelphia’s two-run eighth inning, helping the Phillies get the victory.

Cesar Hernandez started the winning rally with a two-out walk against Tyler Clippard (6-3). He came around to score on Jimmy Rollins’ double. After Chase Utley was walked intentionally, Ruiz drove in Rollins with a single to left.

B.J. Rosenberg (1-0) recorded the final out of the eighth for the win and Jonathan Papelbon finished for his 24th save in 30 chances.

The Nationals put runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, but Wilson Ramos was called out on strikes and Anthony Rendon struck out swinging to end the game.

Ryan Zimmerman homered for Washington, which had won nine of 12.

REDS 7, CARDINALS 2

CINCINNATI — Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto homered as Cincinnati roughed up Adam Wainwright for the second start in a row, leading Mat Latos and the Reds over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a four-game series between the NL Central rivals.

Latos (14-5) gave up four hits in his first complete game of the year.

The Cardinals took two of three in St. Louis last week, the only loss coming when the Reds tagged Wainwright (15-9) for nine runs in a career-low two innings. They had his number again on Monday, piling up six runs and 10 hits in six innings.

Former University of Hawaii standout Kolten Wong went 0 for 1 while playing second base as a defensive substitute late in the game. His average is now .176.

BRAVES 13, METS 5

ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman homered, doubled and tied a career high with five RBIs, powering the Atlanta Braves past the New York Mets.

Freeman put the Braves ahead with a two-run double off Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first inning. Freeman made it 6-1 with a three-run homer a dozen rows deep into the right-field seats in the second.

Jordan Schafer got four hits and stole three bases for Atlanta before leaving with a lower back strain. Andrelton Simmons drove in three runs.

The NL East leaders matched their season high for runs and have won seven of eight.

Paul Maholm (10-10) snapped his four-game losing streak. Matsuzaka (0-3) lasted only three innings and has a 10.95 ERA in three starts since signing with the Mets.

BLUE JAYS 4, D-BACKS 1

PHOENIX — Esmil Rogers pitched 6 1-3 innings of one-hit ball and Edwin Encarnacion hit his 35th home run to lead the Toronto Blue Jays over Arizona.

Rogers (4-7) struck out five and walked one. Casey Janssen got his 27th save.

Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy (3-9) pitched a five-hitter for his second complete game of the season.

PADRES 4, GIANTS 1

SAN DIEGO — Ian Kennedy beat an NL West opponent for the first time in 12 starts this season, pitching the San Diego Padres past the San Francisco Giants.

Kennedy (6-9) gave up one run and five hits over six innings while striking out seven. He is 3-1 with a 4.04 ERA since the Padres got him in a trade with Arizona on July 31.

Kennedy improved to 1-5 with a 4.97 ERA in his starts against NL West teams this year.

Huston Street worked a spotless ninth to earn his 26th save in 27 chances.

Barry Zito (4-11) lost his eighth straight decision. He has won only once in his last 20 starts.

Zito was pulled after four innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits and three walks. He fell to 0-9 with a 10.00 ERA in his last 11 starts away from AT&T Park.

MARLINS 4, CUBS 3

CHICAGO — Henderson Alvarez hit his first career home run and pitched six innings before exiting with a hamstring injury, and the Miami Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs.

Alvarez hit a three-run shot off Travis Wood in the second inning and also had a single and a sacrifice bunt.

Alvarez (3-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings before he left with a tight right hamstring in his first career appearance against the Cubs.

Steve Cishek earned his 29th save in 31 chances for the Marlins, who have won two straight after losing six in a row.

Wood (8-11) allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings.

A’s 4, RANGERS 2

OAKLAND, Calif. — Coco Crisp hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth that was confirmed by a video review, and the Oakland Athletics pulled into a first-place tie with Texas atop the AL West by beating the Rangers.

Yoenis Cespedes homered leading off the second inning and Chris Young added an RBI single in Oakland’s fourth straight win.

Crisp set a career high with his 17th homer that stayed just fair of the left-field foul pole, topping his 16 for Cleveland in 2005. He fouled a ball off the area below his right knee in the sixth. He stayed in and struck out, and then was removed for what the team called a shin contusion.

Dan Straily (8-7) won back-to-back starts for the first time since early July and Grant Balfour got three outs for his 36th save.

David Murphy hit a tying two-run shot in the Texas fifth for his first homer since Aug. 1. Rangers starter Derek Holland (9-7) allowed four runs, three earned, and five hits in 4 2-3 innings.

TIGERS 3, RED SOX 0

BOSTON — Doug Fister rebounded from a miserable start with seven sharp innings, helping Detroit beat Boston in a matchup of teams with the AL’s best records.

The Tigers won despite missing Miguel Cabrera for the third straight game. He has been sidelined by a strained abdomen, though general manager Dave Dombrowski said the Triple Crown winner has been more hampered by a groin problem.

The AL Central-leading Tigers won for the fourth time in five games.

Fister (12-7) allowed four hits, struck out four and walked four. Jose Veras worked the ninth for his 21st save and second with the Tigers, finishing the six-hit shutout.

John Lackey (8-12) was the tough-luck loser, giving up three runs and seven hits over 7 1-3 innings.

ORIOLES 7, INDIANS 2

CLEVELAND — Bud Norris stayed unbeaten as a starter with Baltimore and Nate McLouth homered and had three RBIs.

Norris (10-10) allowed one run — a homer to Jason Kipnis — and four hits in seven innings. The right-hander improved to 4-0 as a starter with the Orioles, who acquired him at the July 31 trading deadline from Houston. He lost once in relief.

Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the ninth and Brian Roberts drove in two runs for the Orioles, who came in three games behind Oakland and Tampa By in the wild-card race.

The Indians lost for the sixth time in seven games and could be without All-Star Justin Masterson (14-10) for the most important stretch of their season. Masterson left in the second with soreness in his left side.

YANKEES 9, WHITE SOX 1

NEW YORK — Derek Jeter ended a slump with two hits and two RBIs, Alex Rodriguez reached base twice in an eight-run fourth inning and the Yankees beat the White Sox in a game interrupted for nearly two hours by rain.

A day after giving up seven runs in the seventh inning in a loss to wild card-rival Baltimore, the Yankees rocked reliever Dylan Axelrod and took advantage of the sloppy White Sox for their most productive inning since Oct. 1.

With thunder clapping in the first inning, Jeter had a run-scoring single off Jose Quintana (7-5) to stop an 0-for-14 slide. The Yankees bats then made all the noise after a 1-hour, 53-minute delay.

Alfonso Soriano, Mark Reynolds Austin Romine, Vernon Wells, Brett Gardner and Jeter all drove in runs during the fourth-inning barrage. The offensive outburst made life easy on David Huff (2-0), who entered for Phil Hughes with one out in the second when play resumed.

ROYALS 3, MARINERS 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Will Smith had a career-high eight strikeouts in a dominant relief performance, helping Kansas City get the win.

Smith (2-1) allowed one hit in 4 1-3 innings. He finished with the most strikeouts by a Royals reliever since Tom Gordon struck out eight over 4 2-3 innings against Detroit on July 9, 1993.

Seattle ace Felix Hernandez (12-9) lost his fourth consecutive start. The ace right-hander allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Hernandez departed after his back cramped up while he was pitching to Alex Gordon. But Hernandez said he will be OK.

The Royals scored two runs in the fifth to open a 3-1 lead. Jarrod Dyson came home on a wild pitch, and Emilio Bonifacio added a sacrifice fly.

Greg Holland pitched a one-hit ninth for his 37th save in 39 opportunities.

TWINS 10, ASTROS 6

HOUSTON — Rookie Chris Colabello homered twice for Minnesota, including a tiebreaking grand slam in the ninth inning.

It was 6-all before Chia-Jen Lo (0-3) allowed a single to Brian Dozier with one out in the ninth. Doug Bernier and Chris Herrmann drew two-out walks on full-count pitches before Colabello hit the next pitch into the bullpen in right-center.

It was the first career grand slam for Colabello, who ended a 0-for-23 skid with a single on Sunday.

Chris Carter and Jason Castro drove in two runs apiece for the Astros, who have lost six of seven.

Josh Roenicke (3-1) pitched two hitless innings for the win.

 

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