DENVER -- This was not a game for Clayton Kershaw to enhance his Cy Young Award credentials. No, this was about the Los Angeles Dodgers ace simply surviving.
And he did that Monday as the Dodgers held on and beat the Colorado Rockies, 10-8.
Kershaw had his poorest start of the season. He allowed five runs and a career-high 11 hits in five innings, his shortest start since he went five innings Sept. 23, 2012, at Cincinnati. His ERA rose slightly from 1.72 to 1.89.
But thanks to a three-run rally in the sixth when Andre Ether, who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored, hit a two-run homer, Kershaw improved to 14-8.
Ethier put the Dodgers ahead 5-3 with a two-run single that highlighted a three-run the fifth. But Kershaw gave those runs back in the bottom of the inning when the Rockies tied the game on a double by Nolan Arenado and Jordan Pacheco's single.
The Dodgers retaliated with three more runs in the sixth off Jeff Manship (0-5).
The inning began with third baseman Arenado's throwing error on Yasiel Puig's grounder. Puig appeared to be injured while diving back into first base on a pickoff attempt.
He eventually scored on a sacrifice fly, but did not take the field in the bottom of the inning.
After the game, there were reports that Puig had suffered a mild knee sprain.
The Rockies scored twice in the eighth off but the Dodgers responded in their half of the frame with two more runs.
Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen gave up Wilin Rosario's 21st homer of the season to open the ninth. But Jansen retired Blackmon to earn his 25th save.
The Rockies pounced on Kershaw for three runs in the first. Rockies starter Chad Bettis had to throw 32 pitches to get out of the first inning, but he yielded only one run.
Kershaw eased out of trouble in the second and fourth. He had runners at first and second with no out in the second but struck out Josh Rutledge and DJ LeMahieu and got Michael Cuddyer to fly out to escape.
In the fourth, the Rockies had runners on second and third with one out, but Kershaw retired Rutledge on a pop fly and got LeMahieu to line to center.
Notes: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said 1B-3B Michael Young could make his first start Tuesday at third base. Juan Uribe, the regular third baseman, is 0-for-15 with six strikeouts against Jhoulys Chacin, who will start Tuesday for the Rockies. ... Kershaw's previous career high in hits allowed was 10 at Coors Field on July 22, 2008, in his rookie season. He was 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in two previous starts at Coors Field this season, including a four-hit shutout on July 2. ... Rockies LF Carlos Gonzalez (right middle finger sprain) is expected to be in the Rockies lineup Tuesday for the first time since Aug. 5 after finishing a three-game rehab assignment Monday with Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... CF Dexter Fowler could return during the Dodgers series. He hasn't played since twisting his left knee on a stolen base attempt Aug. 26.