LOS ANGELES (AP) - Clayton Kershaw battled early and the Los Angeles Dodgers couldn't get him any run support as their five-game winning streak came to an end.
Kershaw struck out 10, walked one and gave up three runs and six hits in a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. The Dodgers (46-46) dropped back to .500 with their sixth shutout loss of the season.
``Obviously, he wasn't as sharp as he had been in his last couple, but he keeps you right there and gave us a chance all night long,' manager Don Mattingly said. ``We just weren't able to put any runs on the board.'
Kershaw (8-6) had been 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA in his seven previous home starts against the Rockies, all victories. He came in with a 3.25 run support average.
Typical of Kershaw's up-and-down night was Charlie Blackmon's at-bat in the second. He fouled the ball off eight times before doubling on the 12th pitch.
``It's frustrating because we want to give our boy the win,' outfielder Skip Schumaker said. ``More times than not our ace is a little bit better (than the opposing pitcher). It feels like we run into a good pitcher every time Kershaw throws.'
Juan Nicasio scattered three hits over seven innings, and DJ LeMahieu went 3 for 4 with an RBI for the Rockies, who lost the series opener 6-1 on Thursday.
``All we're trying to do is just win games,' Kershaw said. ``We're 2 1/2 back, and hopefully we can cut it to a half-game by the All-Star break and go from there. We feel fortunate. If we were in another division, we'd be like eight or 10 games back right now.'
Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig wasn't able to finish the game for the second time in two nights. He was removed after four innings for precautionary reasons due to a sore left hip, going 0 for 2.
``If he's healthy (Saturday), he'll play,' Mattingly said.
Nicasio (5-4) struck out three and walked one after being recalled from the minors. The right-hander was 0-3 with a 6.43 ERA in his last seven outings before being sent down on June 27. He was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Rafael Betancourt pitched the ninth to earn his 14th save in 15 chances.
Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez struck out all four times up, and Troy Tulowitzki went 0 for 3 with a walk. But the Rockies pieced together enough offense to stop the surging Dodgers, who were 16-3 in their previous 19 games.
Colorado took a 2-0 lead in the first on Tulowitzki's sacrifice fly to center that scored Dexter Fowler, who singled to lead off. Wilin Rosario followed with a two-out single up the middle that brought home LeMahieu, who singled.
LeMahieu's RBI single scored Nolan Arenado in the fifth for a 3-0 lead.
The Rockies loaded the bases in the eighth before Blackmon grounded out to end the threat.
NOTES: Rockies LHP Drew Pomeranz, who lost Thursday's start, was optioned to Triple A. ... Dodgers CF Matt Kemp is debuting his own line of Big League Chew Bubble Gum called ``True Blue Original.' It is available for a limited time at select Los Angeles stores, and he is donating a portion of his proceeds to his charity, Kemp's Kids. ``I've been chewing that since I was a kid,' he said.
The Associated Press News Service
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