LOS ANGELES -- The good version of Scott Kazmir made an appearance Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, striking out 10 in six innings to spark a 6-1 victory over the Rockies. Colorado has now dropped 10 of its last 15.
Kazmir's velocity and command were in rare form throughout his start. The southpaw touched 95 mph multiple times and didn't walk a batter, his first start without a free pass since his season debut. Rockies starter Chad Bettis was stronger than his six-inning, four-run stat line would suggest, as his six hits allowed were all clustered into two innings.
"From my end, I just have to be better," said Bettis, who appeared to escape a slump with consecutive solid starts against the Yankees, but has backslid by giving up 11 runs in 11 innings over his last two starts. "It's frustrating not being able to go more than six innings, falling behind and giving up poorly located pitches."
Bettis got off to an inauspicious start, allowing four straight singles to give the Dodgers two runs in the first inning. The first of those singles extended Corey Seager's hit streak to 15 games, the longest active streak in the Majors. Three innings later, Seager's roommate Trayce Thompson hustled out an RBI double to extend the lead.
Justin Turner also finished 3-for-4 with two runs, continuing his breakneck pace after shaking off his slow start. In his last 25 games, he's hitting .340 with eight homers and 23 RBIs.
"Guys are just starting to come around. [Turner], I think it all starts with him," Thompson said. "Whenever he has a good game, we usually have a pretty good game as an offense. Corey's going to do what Corey's going to do, but I think it all starts with [Turner]."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
It keeps coming: A long seventh inning kept the runs coming for the Dodgers, who have now scored 19 times in their last three games. A double from Howie Kendrick and walk from Seager chased Jake McGee, who was making his debut after his activation from the DL on Saturday, then a single from Turner loaded the bases. A sac fly from Adrian Gonzalez and wild pitch from Justin Miller led to a two-run payoff, giving the Dodgers a 6-0 lead.
"We've gotten exactly what we needed," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "You sustain winning with starting pitching and for these guys to come out, pitch well and set the tone for us, and the offense to respond the way they have, some good things are happening."
Not the "fans" the Rockies want: Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who entered Saturday with 21 home runs and a National League-leading 65 RBIs, had his second straight rough night. His three strikeouts matched his three in Friday night's 5-0 loss. But he has plenty of company, since the Rockies have fanned 26 times the last two games -- 14 times Saturday. But Arenado salvaged his night with a homer to left off Chris Hatcher in the ninth.
Manager Walt Weiss, whose team must win Sunday's series finale to avoid matching a season-worst by falling to seven games below .500, said Arenado and all the Rockies will return to high-scoring offense.
"We haven't performed well the last couple of nights offensively, but we will," Weiss said. "We'll get it going." More >
First inning fire: Entering Saturday, the first inning had been a nightmare for Kazmir. Opponents had hit .342/.429/.479 and scored a run per inning in the first inning. After a hit-by-pitch against Charlie Blackmon that might have caused some alarm, Kazmir sat down the next three hitters and likely breathed a sigh of relief, along with the rest of Dodger Stadium.
"Good to get out of that first inning unharmed," Kazmir said. "Didn't work out the first batter like I wanted to, but I was able to get through that inning and get into a groove." More >
Hey (again) DJ:DJ LeMahieu didn't start the last four games, and appeared in just one, because of a bruised left knee. But he came as close as anyone on the Rockies to being a bright spot, with a single and a double.
"DJ is having a great year," Weiss said. "It looked like he didn't miss a beat offensively. He took some good at-bats. It's good to have him back."
Shortstop Trevor Story hoped to start Saturday but gave his bruised right middle finger another day's rest.
Rockies: Righty Jon Gray (5-3, 4.83 ERA) has struck out 18 in 9 2/3 innings in two career starts against the Dodgers. He'll hope to be as effective, and get his first win against the Dodgers, in the series finale Sunday at 2:10 p.m. MT.
Dodgers:Brandon McCarthy makes his long-awaited and much-needed return Sunday after undergoing Tommy John surgery early last season. His first MLB pitch in over a year is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT.
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