DENVER (AP) — Clayton Kershaw struck out nine in five strong innings, Xavier Paul hit a tie-breaking RBI single in the sixth, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 on Sunday to take the deciding game in the series.
Kershaw (5-3), who allowed four hits and two runs, struggled at times with his control. He walked four, had a wild pitch and hit the first batter he faced. But he also was overpowering, striking out the side in the first two innings and matching his season high for strikeouts.
In all, five Dodgers pitchers notched 14 strikeouts, including one by Jonathan Broxton, who gave up an unearned run in the ninth but still earned his 13th save in 15 chances.
Ian Stewart doubled off Broxton to start the ninth. After pinch-hitter Todd Helton struck out, Seth Smith reached on third baseman Casey Blake's error. Stewart then scored on Carlos Gonzalez's fielder's choice before Broxton induced a game-ending groundout from Ryan Spilborghs.
The win was the Dodgers' 10th in their last 12 games against NL West opponents, and they have the best intradivision record in baseball at 15-5.
Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) gave up four runs in 5 1-3 innings. He allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked two.
With the score tied 2-2, Casey Blake doubled to start the sixth. Paul followed with a run-scoring single and went to third on Reed Johnson's single before scoring on Blake Dewitt's fielder's choice to put the Dodgers up by two.
James Loney's RBI double in the first gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead but the Rockies went ahead 2-1 in their half of the inning.
Kershaw hit the first batter he faced, Gonzalez, with a pitch and one out later walked Jason Giambi. Troy Tulowitzki followed with a run-scoring single. Giambi scored from second when second baseman Dewitt lost Chris Iannetta's popup in the sun, and it dropped for an RBI single.
The Dodgers came back to tie it when Kershaw, aboard with a leadoff single, scored on Loney's sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez, who turned 38 Sunday, was given a break from the starting lineup but made a pinch-hitting appearance in the sixth and struck out. ... Colorado reliever Huston Street, who's on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to throw batting practice Monday for Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, on the DL with a torn finger tendon, will travel to Mexico this week so he can help take care of paperwork to obtain passports for his young children. De La Rosa is scheduled to rejoin the Rockies on Friday in Arizona. ... Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to start the game for the second consecutive game.