Kershaw, Dodgers beat Rockies 4-1
LOS ANGELES (AP) After starting his major league career with seven straight no-decisions, Jon Gray finally got one. He took the loss despite a decent performance that just wasn't good enough to outdo Clayton Kershaw.
Gray allowed two runs on six hits and struck out eight through 4 2-3 innings, but the Colorado Rockies dropped a 4-1 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers after Kershaw held them to a run and three hits over seven.
''Tonight was the biggest stage I have ever been on,'' Gray said. ''Knowing that I can go out and perform well is a huge boost of confidence. This small step tonight is going to be big later on.''
The right-hander came in tied for the major league record of consecutive no-decisions by a starter at the beginning of a major league career, which was set by Angels righty Al Levine.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sent out a lineup that included eight left-handed batters. The only exception was No. 5 hitter Justin Turner, who chased Gray with a fifth-inning double that put the Dodgers ahead 2-1. Turner is 21 for 49 with 11 doubles and 14 RBIs in his last 19 games against the Rockies since Sept. 15 of last season.
''I don't think I've ever faced eight lefties before in a lineup before, so it was going to be a tough one coming in - one that will help me grow a lot,'' said Gray, who threw 92 pitches.
I didn't even notice that. They're pretty good in the strike zone,'' he said. ''They didn't chase very much. I should have gotten to strike one early on some guys and it caused me to throw a lot of pitches. Pitching to contact and getting strike one early is going to help your pitch count.''
Carlos Gonzalez drove in Colorado's run with a first-inning groundout after a walk to DJ Lemahieu and a double by Nolan Arenado, whose 78th extra-base hit tied Toronto's Josh Donaldson for the major league lead.
Kershaw (14-6) won his ninth straight decision. The reigning NL MVP is 9-0 with a 2.48 ERA in his last 10 starts against the Rockies, including a no-hitter. His last loss to them was on July 12, 2013.
''They had a great game plan. I give them a lot of credit,'' Kershaw said. ''They had a lot of lineouts. They were hitting balls hard right at guys pretty hard all night. I was fortunate to get out of there with a win.''
The Dodgers, kicking off a 10-game homestand following a 7-3 road trip, won for the 16th time in 20 games. They reduced their magic number to 12 for clinching their second straight NL West title.
Kershaw raised his major league-leading strikeout total to a career-high 264 and lowered his ERA to 2.12. He hasn't lost since June 27 at Miami.
''He throws his pitches exactly where he wants to, throws balls in the dirt when he needs to so he can get people to chase. It's really good stuff,''
''We saw a lot of people buckling tonight, especially righties on his curveball. It's fun to watch,'' Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager said.''
Chris Hatcher got three outs for his third save. Rookie Scott Schebler gave him a couple of insurance runs to work with in the eighth with a two-run homer against Miguel Castro.
Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin (5-8) has only two victories in his last 13 starts overall, both of them complete games at Coors Field.
Dodgers: LHP Brett Anderson (9-8) spent last season with the Rockies, going 1-3 with a 2.91 ERA in eight starts before the club bought out the one-year option in his contract in November.