LOS ANGELES - Fresh off a stint at Triple-A Colorado Springs, Colorado starter Juan Nicasio iced a scorching Los Angeles Dodgers lineup in a 3-0 Rockies win on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Los Angeles entered the game with 55 hits this week through four games, including 17-, 15- and 13-hit performances.
Nicasio came in straight from the minors. He had posted a 5.31 ERA -- including 6.48 in June -- during his previous callup before he was sent down a level to right his head.
Boy did he.
Nicasio allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings before giving way to Rex Brothers to open the eighth inning after 101 pitches and 67 strikes. The outing was Nicasio's best of the year, topping a six-inning, three-hit performance against San Francisco on May 19, and just Colorado's second road shutout of the year.
Rex Brothers and Rafael Betancourt pitched scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth, respectively, with Betancourt picking up the save.
Nicasio's dominant performance, which evened his career mark at 11-11, overshadowed Clayton Kershaw's bid for a fourth straight win.
Kershaw allowed six hits and three runs in seven innings, despite striking out 10, and he was saddled for his first loss since June 21.
DJ LeMahieu had three hits and an RBI for Colorado and Charlie Blackmon had two hits.
Nicasio dazzled the Dodgers through five innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out three. Nicasio was efficient and effective, needing just 72 pitches to get through five, 50 of which were strikes.
Kershaw, meanwhile, found himself in an early predicament.
Kershaw allowed the opening baserunner to reach base in three of the first five innings, and Colorado did not let the opportunities to go waste.
The Rockies scored twice in the first inning to claim the crucial early lead -- they are 0-21 on the road this year when the opponent scores first -- as Troy Tulowitzki scored Dexter Fowler with a sacrifice fly and Wilin Rosario singled home D.J. LeMaheiu.
LeMaheiu padded the cushion in the fifth inning with an RBI single that scored Nolan Arenado, who scored to open the inning.
NOTES: Los Angeles LF Carl Crawford was scratched from the lineup on Friday night with back stiffness. Scott Schumaker got the start in his stead. ... Colorado LHP Drew Pomeranz was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs after being drilled on Thursday night against the Dodgers. Pomeranz allowed seven hits and three runs in four innings before being sent down to make room for Nicasio. ... Puig was pulled because hip soreness for the second straight game. He lasted four-plus innings on Friday before being pulled for Skip Schumaker. ... Los Angeles has gained eight games in the standings since June 22.