LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers are showing some interesting versatility during their nine-game winning streak. They can either power past a team or walk over them.
On Saturday night, the surging Dodgers hit a home run for the 16th consecutive game, while also walking 10 times on the way to a 4-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Clayton Kershaw (11-2) overcame a challenging first inning to hold the Rockies without a run for his six innings and Joc Pederson provided a solo home run as the Dodgers won for the 15th time in 16 games.
“It just seems like every night you find a different way to win,” Kershaw said. “Just the confidence you feel, like there’s no way you’re going to lose.”
The Dodgers are the first National League team to reach the 50-win mark (50-26).
Pederson’s solo home run in the third was his sixth of the year. It’s the first time the Dodgers have hit at least one home run in 16 consecutive games since 1960.
“We’re playing really well and it’s fun to be a part of,” Pederson said. “We’re going to continue to stick to what got us here and keep it going.”
Kershaw gave up four home runs in his last start and got into immediate trouble Saturday. The Rockies loaded the bases with one out in the first, with Kershaw’s pitch count approaching 30. But the left-hander struck out the next two Rockies and went on to retire 13 consecutive batters.
“Clayton has a way of finding another gear, another level and make pitches,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “And sometimes when you get a guy with his reputation on the mound, guys tend to squeeze their bats a little bit tighter.”
Kershaw allowed four hits and a walk, while striking out eight. The Dodgers have won his last 10 starts.
Tyler Chatwood (6-8) had control issues all night, walking a career-high eight in just 3 1/3 innings. Two walks came with the bases loaded in the third to force in runs, including one to Kershaw on four pitches.
“I felt like I beat myself tonight, and that’s pretty frustrating to go home to,” Chatwood said. “I didn’t really have a good feel for it today.”
WALK IN L.A.
The 10 walks came just two nights after nine Dodgers walked against the Mets. Roberts said the numerous walks and home runs are connected.
“We talk a little bit about scaring pitchers out of the strike zone,” Roberts said. “If you’re a pitcher and you’ve got to be fine and perfect to get guys out, that’s a tough way to go through a lineup.
“And we’ve been very stubborn in the strike zone, taking our walks, keeping the line moving. And when there’s a pitch that we can handle and do damage with, we’re slugging.”
Rockies manager Bud Black thought Colorado missed a key opening when it loaded the bases against Kershaw in the first with one out but failed to score.
“You’ve got to capitalize on those,” he said. “At least get a run. That was a tough one. We had him 30-plus pitches. It looked as though we might be able to break through the first. That shows the caliber of talent he is to be able to get a strikeout with the bases loaded.”
Rockies: OF Carlos Gonzalez missed his second consecutive start with a sore right shoulder. Black said Gonzalez might be available to pinch hit. “He’s getting better,” Black said. “This is not a disabled list situation, it really is day-to-day.”
Dodgers: An MRI showed SS Corey Seager had a Grade 1 right hamstring strain. Dodgers are hoping it is not a DL situation, but Roberts said they expect him to miss three to four starts. “Then we’ll have to make a (DL) decision,” he said. … Roberts said reliever Kenta Maeda will start Tuesday against the Angels, not because of any injury, but to simply push back the starts for an extra day’s rest.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (3-5, 5.75 ERA) is scheduled to make his first start since May 30 in the series finale Sunday. He has made one relief appearance since coming off the DL with left knee inflammation. In six career starts against the Dodgers, he is 2-3 with a 3.57 ERA.
Dodgers: RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 2.87 ERA) is scheduled to make his 13th start of the season. He has held opponents to a .226 batting average while putting up a 1.07 WHIP. He is 2-3 with a 4.57 ERA in eight career starts against the Rockies.
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