Clayton Kershaw sharp, MLB-best Dodgers rout Rockies 10-1

Sep 30, 2022, 10:12 AM | Updated: 10:52 pm
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of...

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

              Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after scoring on a double by Mookie Betts during the second inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
            
              Colorado Rockies' Yonathan Daza, right, is forced out at second by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux as Lux throws out Jose Iglesias at first during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
            
              Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts, center, scores on a single by Will Smith as Colorado Rockies catcher Elias Diaz, left, takes a late throw while relief pitcher Jake Bird backs Diaz up during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
            
              Colorado Rockies first baseman Elehuris Montero can't get to a ball hit for a single by Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
            
              Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Kuhl throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
            
              Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
            
              Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
            
              Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw went six scoreless innings in his next-to-last start before the playoffs and the Los Angeles Dodgers had an eight-run fourth inning in a 10-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.

Cody Bellinger hit a three-run home run, Mookie Betts had a pair of doubles among his three hits and Chris Taylor also had three hits as the Dodgers improved their franchise-best record to 109-48.

Los Angeles wrapped up the best record in baseball earlier Friday when the Houston Astros lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, giving the Dodgers a home game for a potential Game 7 of the World Series.

“We’re taking care of business right now,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The challenge now is we have five games to finish out and play well. As far as home-field advantage throughout (the playoffs), we’ve done that.”

Kershaw (11-3) cruised along by allowing just five hits with no walks and two strikeouts. He won his fourth consecutive start and has a 1.50 ERA in six starts since returning Sept. 1 from a back injury.

“I feel fine physically (but) this was a tough one stuff-wise; it wasn’t very good,” Kershaw said. “I had to grind through. A lot of guys on base and just overall didn’t have the best stuff tonight. Every once in a while that happens and you’re going to have to grind and thankfully our guys put up a bunch of runs tonight.”

Rockies starter Chad Kuhl (6-11) was roughed up for six runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings, while giving up three walks with two strikeouts. Colorado, which has locked up last place in the NL West, lost for the 10th time in 11 games.

“Every day is different and like I’ve mentioned over the last couple of weeks, a lot of young guys are getting a taste of the major leagues,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “The speed of the game, seeing major league pitching, it’s a growth experience for a lot of our guys.”

Sluggish on offense for more than a week, in a stretch that included two one-run games as well as a shutout, the Dodgers broke through with their most- productive inning of the season. The eight runs and eight hits were season highs for an inning.

The productive night started modestly enough as the Dodgers led 1-0 through three innings after an RBI double from Betts in the second.

Bellinger got the fourth-inning eruption started with a three-run home run to right field, his 18th of the season and his first since Aug. 21, spanning 21 games. After Kuhl was removed following a walk to Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Max Muncy and Trayce Thompson each had RBI hits in succession against Jake Bird.

Taylor added the final two runs of the inning on a two-run single to center field for a 9-0 lead.

Yency Almonte, David Price each pitched a scoreless inning for the Dodgers before infielder Hanser Alberto gave up a run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly from Elias Diaz. Alberto, who had an RBI double in the ninth, made his 10th appearance (11 innings) on the mound.

“It’s better when you’re on the winning side,” Alberto said about getting multiple chances to pitch. “That’s why I enjoy it more (tonight). That’s all we want at the end of the day is to win the ballgame.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: RHP Dustin May (back) threw a short bullpen session, his first time throwing from a mound since going on the injured list Sept 23, and has not been ruled out for a return during the playoffs. … RHP Blake Treinen (shoulder) threw from 120 feet but his timetable for a return has not been set. … 3B Justin Turner, who hasn’t played since Tuesday because of shin splints, could be in line to play Saturday. … RHP Tony Gonsolin (forearm) is back with the team after a rehab assignment at Triple-A Oklahoma City, but has not been added yet to the active roster.

UP NEXT

Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (9-11, 4.63 ERA) is making his fifth start against the Dodgers, going 2-2 with a 6.33 ERA in the prior four.

Dodgers: RHP Michael Grove (1-0, 4.07) will be making his sixth career start and is coming off his first career win Sunday vs. St. Louis.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Putin honors skating coach in Valieva Olympic case

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded figure skating coach Eteri Tutberidze one of the country’s highest honors Monday, nearly a year after a doping case involving one of her top skaters overshadowed the Winter Olympics. A presidential decree dated Jan. 26 but published Monday lists Tutberidze, 48, among three people awarded the Order […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) is defended by Indiana Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith (23...
Associated Press

What LeBron passing Kareem means to NBA, greatest debate

It’s about to happen. LeBron James is finally on the brink of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA’s career scoring record, the torch getting passed from one member of the Los Angeles Lakers to another. James is 35 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s total of 38,387. The record-breaker could come as early as Tuesday when the […]
1 day ago
A Scottsdale Airport staffer waits on a private jet, as the airport gears up for the expected drama...
Associated Press

Super Bowl draws epic air show of private planes to Phoenix

PHOENIX (AP) — Former NFL player Jim Bob Morris is heading to the Super Bowl in Phoenix from Bloomington, Illinois, in a newly refurbished set of wheels. His ride has new paint, new seating and even a new bathroom. Morris, who played for the Green Bay Packers, Houston Oilers and was even with the Kansas […]
1 day ago
Leeds United's head coach Jesse Marsch looks on prior to the English Premier League soccer match be...
Associated Press

Jesse Marsch fired by Leeds after nearly a year in charge

LEEDS, England (AP) — American coach Jesse Marsch was fired by Leeds on Monday after nearly a year in charge of the relegation-threatened Premier League team. Leeds hasn’t won any of its last seven games in the league and has dropped into 17th place in the 20-team division, only out of the relegation zone on […]
1 day ago
FILE - Jaromir Jagr smiles during a press conference at the Kladno Knights hockey club in Kladno, C...
Associated Press

Jaromír Jágr scores his record 1,099th goal at almost 51

PRAGUE (AP) — Jaromír Jágr celebrated his 51st birthday about a week early by scoring his 1,099th goal to overtake Wayne Gretzky at the top of the chart. Jágr, who will turn 51 on Feb. 15, scored for the Kladno Knights on Sunday in 5-4 loss at Trinec in the Czech league. The winger, who […]
1 day ago
United States' Mikaela Shiffrin fails to complete the slalom portion of an alpine ski, women's Worl...
Associated Press

American skier Shiffrin fails to finish 1st race at worlds

MERIBEL, France (AP) — American skier Mikaela Shiffrin missed what looked like a certain gold medal Monday on the opening day of the world championships, skiing out of the women’s combined race with the finish in sight. Shiffrin straddled the third-to-last gate in her slalom run while appearing to be close to beating first-run leader […]
1 day ago
Clayton Kershaw sharp, MLB-best Dodgers rout Rockies 10-1