This is Howie Do It: Dodgers Win Five Straight
I had to use that Howie pun at least once this season. In all seriousness, how great has Howie Kendrick been? The Dodgers, with a homerun by Howie, a couple of doubles from Adrian Gonzalez, a huge outfield assist by Andre Ethier, a dozen strikeouts from Clayton Kershaw and three scoreless innings from the bullpen defeated the Rockies and collected their fifth consecutive victory.
Kershaw definitely was fighting his control at times, and we didn’t see that beautiful yet devastating curve until after the first three innings. Yasmani Grandal caught Kershaw for the first time during the regular season, but the results were not that much different from his previous starts with A.J. Ellis catching.
The Dodgers offense made up for the atypical Kershaw start, and the bullpen was solid again. The Rockies struck out 16 times against Dodger pitching.
Dodgers 7 10 1
Rockies 3 7 0
WP- Kershaw (1-1)
LP- Kendrick (1-2)
HR- H. Kendrick (1), Tulowitzki (1), Blackmon (1)
Clayton Kershaw opened the first inning by striking out Colorado leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon.
"“A typical way for Kershaw to begin.” -Vin Scully"
Troy Tulowitzki, who is healthy for now, singled to left field for the first base hit of the game. There went the no-hitter. Joc Pederson and Juan Uribe were there to retire Nolan Arenado and Wilin Rosario behind Kershaw to end the scoreless frame.
The Dodgers jumped all over Kyle Kendrick in the home half of the first inning. Jimmy Rollins started off the rally by drawing a walk and stealing second base. Then Adrian Gonzalez continued to do Gonzo things by doubling over the head of Stubbs bringing home Rollins for the first run.
Kendrick vs. Kendrick: Howie Kendrick hit a two-run homerun over the center field fence for the third run of the inning!
Kershaw struck out the side in the second inning. The ace even picked up his first base hit (and first hit for a Dodger pitcher this season), a double, in the bottom of the second.
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The Rockies finally got to Kersh in the top of the fourth thanks to Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo was all over a Kershaw fastball right over the plate, and he hit a line drive solo homerun over the left field fence. That’s the second homerun of the season allowed by Kersh. Kershaw finally threw one curveball, the first of the game, during that sequence to Tulo.
There was a scary moment when a line drive by Wilin Rosario scorched past Kershaw into center field. Kersh got out of the way, but I’m sure he is a bit wary since the Spring Training incident which knocked out his tooth. With Nick Hundley at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Rosario to advance to second. He struck out Hundley, then Andre Ethier saved his bacon on the next play. Corey Dickerson singled to right field, and Andre Ethier showed off his arm by mowing down Rosario at home! The Dodger outfield is very strong defensively.
After the rough inning by Kershaw, the Dodgers wanted to tack on some more runs in the fourth. Yasmani Grandal drew a leadoff walk, and Andre Ethier reached safely on a groundball to DJ LeMahieu who couldn’t throw it to first in time from his knees. Unfortunately, Juan Uribe grounded into a double play. Kendrick intentionally walked Joc Pederson to pitch to Kershaw. The plan failed after Kendrick uncorked a wild pitch. Grandal came in to score, and the Dodgers took a 4-1 lead.
Adrian Gonzalez committed a rare error in the fifth. He made a high throw to Kershaw covering first on a ball hit by Drew Stubbs. The error was costly, and Charlie Blackmon cashed in on the mistake when he hit a two-run homerun off Kershaw making it a one-run game. The Blackmon homerun was pretty shocking, because Kershaw only allowed one homerun to a left-handed hitter all of last season.
Adrian Gonzalez made up for his error with a big RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to give the Dodgers a 5-3 lead! Carl Crawford came in to score after his single. Then Howie was up to his antics again. Kendrick apparently loves hitting off of Kendrick and doubled in Gonzo to make it 6-3! Kendrick walked Ethier, and that was his last batter for the night.
Apr 17, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Andre Ethier (16) makes an out in the ninth inning of the game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Kendrick pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed 6 runs on 7 hits with 6 strikeouts and 4 walks on 104 pitches.
Scott Oberg came out of the Colorado bullpen to pitch to Juan Uribe with two on and two outs. Uribe hit a little grounder to third, and Rosario couldn’t hold on to Oberg’s throw to first. The bases were loaded for Joc. Joc hit a deep fly ball to right field… but Blackmon was there at the warning track. A JocSlam would have been perfection.
Kershaw had some trouble in the sixth inning as well. A double by Rosario, a walk to Hundley and a passed ball gave the Rockies runners at the corners with one out. Kershaw reared back to strike out Dickerson and Stubbs to give him a dozen strikeouts on the night.
Clayton Kershaw pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits with 12 strikeouts and a walk on 104 pitches.
Paco Rodriguez took over for Kersh in the seventh, and he pitched a perfect frame in relief.
The Dodgers put a seventh run on the board in the bottom of the seventh. Gonzalez came up with his third hit of the night, and he advanced from first to third on a base hit from Grandal. Then Gonzo scored on a sacrifice fly by Andre Ethier.
Impressive Yimi Garcia came out of the Dodger bullpen for the eighth inning, and he only allowed one hit to Arenado while striking out two.
Adam Liberatore, who was recalled by the Dodgers on Friday, was given the ball in the top of the ninth for his major league debut. Ethier helped out Liberatore by making a nice running catch in the right field corner for the second out of the inning. Liberatore ended his scoreless inning and the game by striking out Michael McKenry with an off speed pitch.
The Dodgers improve to 7-3 on the season with the 7-3 win. Saturday Zack Greinke will counter Jordan Lyles in game two.
Meanwhile… in San Francisco the Giants lost their eighth game in a row.