Sports

Dodgers ace Kershaw aims for win vs. Rockies

(SportsNetwork.com) - Clayton Kershaw hasn't gotten off to the kind of start one would expect from the reigning National League MVP, but the Los Angeles Dodgers figure it is only a matter of time before he gets on track.

Kershaw's history of success against the Colorado Rockies suggest it could happen very soon.

The Dodgers begin a three-game series with the Rockies on Friday night as Kershaw goes for his first victory in three outings this season.

The left-hander went 21-3 last season with a 1.77 earned run average in 27 starts, including a 3-0 mark and 0.41 ERA versus the Rockies. He no-hit Colorado the last time he faced them at Dodger Stadium, posting an 8-0 win on June 18 while fanning a career-high 15 batters.

Kershaw, a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner, is 13-5 with a 3.17 ERA lifetime versus the Rockies, but has struggled in two starts this season. He picked up a loss last time out on Saturday at Arizona, charged with six runs -- five earned -- on 10 hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings.

"I made a lot of mistakes," said the 27-year-old Kershaw after falling to 0-1 on the year with a 5.84 ERA.

Kershaw takes on a Rockies club tonight that swept a three-game set from the San Francisco Giants, culminating with Wednesday's 4-2 victory. Nolan Arenado had the key hit, a first-inning three-run homer.

"Nolan came through again," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "It's tough to come in here and win three games."

Arenado has three homers and 10 RBI on the season while batting .324. He is 4- for-15 in his career versus Kershaw.

Colorado sports a 7-2 record on the season, while Los Angeles is just behind at 6-3. The Dodgers have won four in a row following a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners.

Adrian Gonzalez stayed hot with a pair of hits and an RBI. He has a hit in all nine games this season, batting .528 with five homers and nine RBI.

"That's a great team over there," Gonzalez said of the Mariners. "This was a team effort tonight. Our pitching did the rest once we got the lead.

Los Angeles outfielder Yasiel Puig missed his second straight game with left hamstring tightness, but could be in the lineup tonight against Colorado right-hander Kyle Kendrick.

Kendrick has had an up-and-down start to his Rockies career, hurling seven scoreless innings in a 10-0 win at Milwaukee on April 6 in his debut. However, he was hammered five days later at home by the Chicago Cubs, charged for a career-high eight runs on eight hits and five walks over five-plus innings. He was tagged for a trio of homers in defeat.

The 30-year-old is 5-6 with a 6.47 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) versus the Dodgers, going 0-2 in his last four encounters.

The Dodgers went 13-6 versus the Rockies last season and have swept the past two three-game sets played in Los Angeles.