Dodgers turn to Kershaw in matchup with Rockies

Clayton Kershaw leads the majors with a 1.68 earned run average, but that number took a hit his last time out. Kershaw looks to sharpen his approach Friday when the Los Angeles Dodgers invade Coors Field to open a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies.

Kershaw was roughed up for a season-high four runs in Sunday's 5-3 loss to St. Louis and allowed seven hits in seven innings to have his six-game unbeaten streak (3-0) come to an end. Kershaw, who was coming off a complete-game performance at Milwaukee, is 5-3 in 11 starts.

The left-hander has made 18 career starts against Colorado and is 7-4 with a 3,82 ERA in that stretch.

Los Angeles could use a boost from its ace after Ted Lilly failed in his attempt to defeat the LA Angels of Anaheim on Thursday, as he was hit for all three runs in a 3-2 loss over 5 2/3 frames.

"Ted threw the ball well and gave us a chance to win. We had chances, but we didn't get it done," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.

Ramon Hernandez homered and Adrian Gonzalez added a sacrifice fly in the first inning for the Dodgers, who had won two straight and three of four games. The Dodgers are still last in the NL West.

Earlier on Thursday, the Dodgers announced that outfielder Matt Kemp had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain. Kemp was batting .251 with two home runs and 17 RBI over 51 games this season. He missed 51 games last season because of an injured left hamstring and has one hit in his last six contests.

"It's disappointing," Kemp said. "This is my second year being hurt. It's a small little obstacle, but I'm used to playing every day. The second year getting hurt is kind of frustrating. But it's part of the game and I've just got to deal with it."

Colorado has to deal with the fact that it lost three of four matchups with the lowly Houston Astros and looks to bounce back Friday night.

The Rockies have dropped two in a row and five of six games, including Thursday's 7-5 setback to the Astros at Coors Field. Yorvit Torrealba went 3- for-4 with an RBI and a run scored while Carlos Gonzalez scored twice for the Rockies, who received a rough performance from starter Juan Nicasio. Nicasio permitted five runs on seven hits over five-plus innings to take the loss.

A six-run sixth inning by Houston didn't do Nicasio any favors.

"When you have a starter that's in trouble you have to put him away or you will lose games," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "We didn't do that tonight and it cost us."

Jon Garland will try to come to Colorado's rescue when he takes on his former Dodger teammates and is just 3-6 with a 5.05 ERA in 10 starts. Garland has dropped four straight trips to the hill and allowed five runs -- two earned -- and seven hits in five innings of a 7-3 loss at San Francisco on Sunday. He has yielded at least three runs in seven straight starts.

"It's tough when you put your team down three and you end up losing the game to sit and say that you made strides," Garland said afterward, "but to a certain degree, yeah."

Garland, a right-hander, is 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA in five career starts against the Dodgers.

The Rockies took two of three meetings with the Dodgers from April 29-May 1 at Dodger Stadium after losing 10 of the 18 matchups a season ago.