(SportsNetwork.com) - Clayton Kershaw tries to follow up his best start of the season on Monday when the Los Angeles Dodgers open a four-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Kershaw won for the second time in three starts, as the National League's reigning Cy Young Award winner and MVP scattered four hits to Atlanta over seven innings to improve to 3-3, while lowering his ERA to 3.86.
"His stuff has been similar every time out. I feel like I've had to defend him, but he doesn't need defending," manager Don Mattingly said after the win. "He's been throwing the ball well, and tonight he got the results."
Kershaw, who is 0-2 in five road starts this season, could stay in the win column, as he owns a lifetime mark of 15-5 versus the Rockies with a 3.29 ERA in 29 starts.
Los Angeles was denied a series win in St. Louis over the weekend, falling 3-1 in Sunday's rubber match at Busch Stadium. Joc Pederson's solo home run in the eighth accounted for the only offense for the Dodgers, who have lost three of their last four.
Brett Anderson (2-3) gave up a pair of runs on five hits in six innings to take the loss.
"That may have been the worst stuff I've ever had in the big leagues," said Anderson. "There's not many moral victories in this game but the fact that I gave the team a quality start with my "D" stuff, I can take a little something away from that."
Colorado, meanwhile, comes into this series rolling after a road sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Rockies won their fourth straight game on Sunday, as Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu each hit two-run home runs and Chris Rusin pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to help Colorado to a 4-1 win.
"We were a little light in the bullpen, so Rusin was huge getting us to the point he did," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss.
Arenado, who has been one of the hottest hitters in the majors of late, smacked his ninth homer this month and fifth in his last seven games.
Colorado, which has won seven of eight, will hand the ball to right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who won for the first time since Opening Day his last time out. Kendrick beat Cincinnati on Wednesday, holding the Reds to four runs and five hits in 7 1/3 frames to run his record to 2-6 to go along with a 6.38 ERA.
Kendrick efficiently achieved 11 outs on two or fewer pitches each. He had thrown 61 pitches overall through seven innings.
"I knew I got some one-pitch, two-pitch outs in those mid innings -- two, three, four, five, which kind of kept my pitch count down, which was nice," Kendrick said. "With a pitch count like that, I would have liked to have finished the game."
Kendrick has already lost twice to the Dodgers this season and is 5-8 against them in his career with a 6.28 ERA in 15 games (12 starts).
The Dodgers have won seven of nine with the Rockies this season.