LOS ANGELES (AP) – Every time Chad Bettis turned around, the Dodgers had runners on base. And they kept scoring.
The Rockies lost 14-1 on Saturday night, their 82nd defeat of the season and third in a row that assured the team of its sixth straight losing season.
“It was not a pretty night,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said.
Bettis (13-8) gave up seven runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, struck out three and walked four. The right-hander has been having one of his best seasons, with career highs in wins, starts (31) and innings (179 1/3), but he struggled from the second inning on and fell to 6-6 on the road.
“My command was off and my fastball was off,” Bettis said. “I was getting behind on every hitter. It was pretty embarrassing. I tried to set the tone early, but my pitches were coming back over the plate.”
Colorado’s run came on Pat Valaika’s first major league homer in the eighth off Jesse Chavez. Valaika, from nearby Valencia, was making his first big-league start.
“It was awesome. I fouled off a couple of fastballs and then he hung a slider,” Valaika said. “I’m comfortable in this stadium. I played here in college; the stakes are bigger now but I have a certain comfort level here.”
Nolan Arenado went 2 for 3 and had a pair of singles for his 54th multihit game of the season. He’s batting .319 in his last 19 games against Los Angeles.
Clayton Kershaw scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings, Josh Reddick slugged a grand slam in the seventh and the Dodgers moved within a game of clinching their fourth consecutive NL West title.
Their fourth straight victory reduced the Dodgers’ magic number to one after San Francisco won at San Diego 9-6 in 10 innings.
Los Angeles is on the brink of becoming the first team to win four straight NL West titles. The last NL club to claim four division titles in a row was the Philadelphia Phillies, who won the NL East from 2007-11.
The Dodgers can wrap up the title Sunday in Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully’s final home game before he retires next weekend.
Kershaw (12-3) struck out six and walked none to improve to 8-1 at home. The left-hander has been solid since coming off the disabled list after a herniated disk last month.
The Dodgers led 4-0 in the second on Joc Pederson’s two-run single, a fielder’s choice groundout by Corey Seager and Justin Turner’s RBI single. Turner went 3 for 3, drove in two runs and drew two walks.
Los Angeles tacked on two runs in the fourth to make it 6-0. Pederson scored on left fielder Ryan Raburn’s error and Turner singled to drive in his second run.
Reddick added an RBI single in the sixth and Adrian Gonzalez had a two-run single in the seventh, extending the lead to 10-0. Reddick’s grand slam came with two outs in the seventh, making it 14-0.
Rockies catcher Tony Wolters lost track of how many outs there were in the sixth. With Adrian Gonzalez at bat, Turner took off for second base. Gonzalez struck out swinging, and Wolters stood up and started walking off the field only to have Turner steal second with two outs. The Dodgers went on to score a run before the inning ended.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (5-6, 3.58 ERA) makes his seventh start on the road, where he is 0-4 with a 5.10 ERA. The rookie has beaten the Dodgers twice this season, but hasn’t won that second victory over them on Aug. 31.
Dodgers: McCarthy (2-2, 3.63) comes off a month-long stint on the disabled list with right hip stiffness.
– By BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer
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