By Pat Graham, AP sports writer
Clayton Kershaw became a 20-game winner against Colorado — the most victories any pitcher has ever recorded versus the franchise.
Know what that says?
“I pitched against them a lot,” he said.
Kershaw worked his way out of trouble time after time over seven solid innings, Chase Utley had a two-run triple as part of a five-run second and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the NL West-leading Rockies 6-2 on Friday night.
“The box score probably doesn’t tell the whole story. There was a lot of bad pitching,” Kershaw said while holding his young son. “I’ll take it tonight, though.”
Cody Bellinger added a solo homer in the eighth to help the Dodgers pull within 1 1/2 games of Colorado.
Kershaw (6-2) ran his record to 89-0 in the regular season when the Dodgers give him at least four runs of support. He also improved to 20-6 against the Rockies, surpassing fellow lefty Randy Johnson for most all-time wins against the team.
On a tranquil evening, Kershaw allowed two runs and seven hits, but worked his way out of trouble with the assistance of three double plays.
“It wasn’t pretty and nothing was great about it by any means,” Kershaw said of his outing. “Guys got some runs early for me. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take the win any day of the week.”
The Dodgers took advantage of an erratic Tyler Chatwood (3-5), who walked four and allowed five runs over 4 1/3 innings.
“You’ve got to throw the ball over the plate and if they beat you getting hits, you can live with that,” Chatwood said.
In the pivotal second, Los Angeles sent nine batters to the plate and drew three walks, all of which scored. Utley hustled for his second triple of the season and Corey Seager added a two-run double.
“Walks,” Chatwood lamented. “Walks are the thing that killed us.”
Those five early runs were more than enough for Kershaw, who doesn’t need much.
“It’s just a credit to him to get through that start with not having his best stuff,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
The Rockies might argue that point.
“We just don’t have too many opportunities against him and when we do he’s one of the toughest to come through on,” Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu said.