LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers got a solid start from ace Clayton Kershaw and took advantage of some wild Rockies pitching to cruise to a 4-0 victory on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, becoming the second team in the Majors and first in the National League to reach 50 wins.Kershaw
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers got a solid start from ace Clayton Kershaw and took advantage of some wild Rockies pitching to cruise to a 4-0 victory on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, becoming the second team in the Majors and first in the National League to reach 50 wins.
Kershaw worked six scoreless innings with eight punchouts for his 11th victory of the season and 137th of his career, moving the lefty past Johnny Podres for sole possession of ninth place in franchise history. The Dodgers have won a season-high nine straight games, as well as each of Kershaw's last 10 outings.
"It's incredible. It just seems like every night you find a different way to win," Kershaw said, "and just the confidence you have coming to the field like there's no way you're going to lose."
• Kershaw settles in for 11th victory
For the Rockies, their losing streak has reached a season-high four games after they lost control of the game early. Joc Pederson's leadoff shot in the third inning gave the Dodgers 16 straight games with at least one home run, tied for third-longest streak in franchise history. Pederson sent a first-pitch fastball from Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood 421 feet into center field to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
"We're playing really well," Pederson said. "It's fun to be a part of. We're going to continue sticking to what got us here and try to keep it going."
Chatwood continued to struggle in the third. A single by Yasmani Grandal and an error by right fielder Raimel Tapia allowed Justin Turner to score from first, padding the Dodgers lead to 3-0. One out later, Chatwood issued three straight walks, the last to Kershaw with the bases loaded as the Dodgers took a 4-0 lead.
"When you face a guy like Clayton, that opposing pitcher is going to be jacked up," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "There was some 97s from Chatwood, and he was max effort from pitch one. When you're doing that, it's hard to sustain. When you take that on top of an offense that is very disciplined outside the strike zone, it gets tough."
Chatwood lasted just 3 1/3 innings and walked a career-high eight.
"I felt like I beat myself tonight, and that's pretty frustrating to go home to," Chatwood said.
• Chatwood undone by career-high 8 walks
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Here's your chance … : The Rockies had dreams of a big first. DJ LeMahieu doubled, Nolan Arenado singled and Mark Reynolds walked with one out. It took seven pitches for Kershaw to squash that hope, by fanning Ian Desmond and Trevor Story.
"He's a good pitcher," Desmond said. "Today he got us. He is who he is for a reason, but we are who we are for a reason, also. We've got to do better putting runs on the board for our starting pitchers, and that starts with me."
Yes, it was a 33-pitch inning to start the lefty's night, but he rebounded by shutting down the second and third on 10 pitches apiece, then he needed just 17 to strike out the side in the fourth.
"He's a strike-thrower," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "You look at walks per nine innings and his strikeouts, he's not pitching around guys. He's coming at guys with three quality pitches."
That guy knows the strike zone, too: Chatwood entered with a 2.41 road ERA. He'd put together four straight quality starts, and even had one at home. But it all fell apart during the three-run third that included four walks. The one that hurt most was to Kershaw with the bases loaded -- on four pitches -- for the Dodgers' fourth run.
STILL UNCLEAR, EVEN AFTER THE CLARIFICATION
In the bottom of the sixth with Chase Utley on third and Rockies lefty Chris Rusin pitching, the umpires asked Rusin to declare whether he would use the windup or the stretch. Rusin is among the pitchers whose windup and stretch are similar.
The batter was Turner, who is aware of Rusin's penchant for quick pitches. History says he dislikes it; before the rule for double-play breakup slides expressly forbid it, he once slid over the bag and took out Arenado (who, in a shift, was covering second). This was after Rusin had quick-pitched Turner.
So Turner asked umpires if Rusin could quick-pitch if he declared he was working from the windup. Third-base umpire and crew chief Fieldin Culbreth said no. Rusin asked for a clarification, and a mound conference -- somewhat animated -- with umpires, players and Black ensued.
"They said I could alter it slower, but I couldn't alter it faster," Rusin said. "I asked why and they just said, 'You can't.' That's all I know so far. I'm still confused."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Dodgers' 16 straight games with a homer is tied for the franchise's third-longest streak since moving to Los Angeles in 1957.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the sixth, Utley smacked a ball that likely would have hit off the right-field wall, but a fan reached over the wall and caught it. The umpires called for fan interference and awarded Utley second base. The Dodgers challenged to make sure the ball wasn't headed over the wall for a homer, but a review confirmed the ruling of a double.
Rockies: Lefty Tyler Anderson (3-5, 5.75 ERA) makes his first start since May 30 -- before left knee inflammation sent him to the disabled list -- in the series finale with the Dodgers on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. MT.
Dodgers:Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 2.87 ERA) will get the start in the series finale against the Rockies. The righty earned his first win since June 6th in his last start against the Mets and sports a 2.87 ERA on the year. First pitch slated for 1:10 p.m. PT.
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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and** like his Facebook page**.
Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.