The Los Angeles Dodgers held the Colorado Rockies to a single run Monday night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. They took a 2-1 lead over Rockies’ rookie Jon Gray (0-1, 5.00) in the bottom of the 5th and added insurance runs in the 8th with closer Kenley Jansen unavailable, to prevail 4-1 and maintain their 7-1/2 game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. Reigning Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw (14-6, 2.12) went 7 for LA, allowing a run on 3 hits and striking-out 5.
Colorado got the scoring started in the 1st against Kershaw when DJ LeMahieu walked with one out, moved to 3rd on a Nolan Arenado double, and scored when Carlos Gonzalez grounded-out. The Rockies worked the left-hander for 39 pitches in the first 2, but managed only 4 additional base runners against him after the 1st inning rally.
Los Angeles got the run back in the 2nd on a one-out single by Andre Ethier, a Corey Seager double, and a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez. Gray wriggled out of 2-on/2-out trouble in the 4th, then in the 5th he walked Chase Utley with 2-out, Gonzalez singled, and Justin Turner hit a double off the left-field wall to drive in the game winner. Scott Schebler made it 4-1 LA in the 8th against Miguel Castro, driving in Seager, who had singled, with a 2-out blast way up in the right-field seats.
Gray allowed 6 hits and walked 2 over 4-2/3, leaving after 92 pitches (54 strikes). Rex Brothers got Gray out of the 5th, and Brooks Brown and Christian Friedrich were clean during the 6th and 7th ahead of Castro. Luis Avilan and former Rockie Juan Nicasio handled the 8th for the Dodgers, and Chris Hatcher stood in for Jansen with a clean 9th, notching his 3rd save.
The middle game of the 3-game series is set for tonight. Lefties Chris Rusin and briefly-a-Rockie Brett Anderson face-off in an 8:10 MDT start at Chavez Ravine.