Puig strains knee, Dodgers win fifth straight
DENVER (AP) -- 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 on Tuesday, 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."
"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."
NOTES: Newly acquired Dodgers INF Michael Young could make his first start Tuesday at third base. He struck out Monday when he was called on to pinch-hit in the ninth. Young was acquired over the weekend from the Philadelphia Phillies for a minor league pitcher. ... The Dodgers plan to keep OF Matt Kemp (ankle) on a rehab assignment until he feels comfortable. "We'd all like to have him back as soon as possible," Mattingly said. ... Mattingly said RHP Edinson Volquez will start Wednesday's game against Colorado. ... Helton got the afternoon off a day after collecting his 2,500th hit, while Tulowitzki (sore legs) and Dexter Fowler (knee) also were out. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez (sprained right middle finger) could soon come off the disabled list.