Dodgers-Rockies Preview

ALAN FERGUSON (STATS Writer)
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Clayton Kershaw looked like his dominant self from seasons past in his latest outing but takes the ball Monday night on the road, where he has labored at times. The Los Angeles Dodgers ace will also have to contend with a Colorado Rockies lineup that's been highly productive of late, especially at home. Kershaw (3-3, 3.86 ERA) fanned 10 in seven innings and walked none in an 8-0 win over Atlanta on Tuesday. His first scoreless effort in 10 starts this season also ended a three-game stretch in which he was 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA. "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 told MLB's official website. "He's been throwing the ball well, and tonight he got the results." Kershaw has yet to earn a win in his five starts away from Dodger Stadium, going 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA. The left-hander gave up five runs in 5 2-3 innings at Colorado on May 10 as the Dodgers rallied for a 9-5 victory. Kershaw, though, improved to 7-0 in his last eight starts against the Rockies with a 6-4 win May 15, allowing three runs in 6 2-3 innings while striking out 10. Los Angeles (29-20), which leads the season series 7-2, won both games at Coors Field in May, and the teams won't meet again until Sept. 14-16 after this four-game series. Colorado (22-26) has batted .211 and averaged 3.1 runs against the Dodgers this season, but is hitting .286 and averaging 5.8 runs in its last 11 games. The Rockies, hitting .324 with 39 runs in their past five at Coors Field, are returning home following a seventh win in eight contests and a season high-tying fourth in a row Sunday, a 4-1 victory in Philadelphia. Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer - his fifth in seven games - and D.J. LeMahieu went 3 for 4 with a two-run shot. Arenado is batting .429 with 14 RBIs in his last seven games and LeMahieu is batting .380 in his last 13. "We're just playing good ball right now," Arenado said. "We're pitching great, we're driving in runs when we need to and we've had a lot of success doing that." LeMahieu is hitting .146 in his last 14 against the Dodgers and is 2 for 14 versus Kershaw in the past two seasons. Kershaw's team barely avoided getting shut out for the fifth time in six road games Sunday, losing 3-1 to St. Louis. Joc Pederson's homer in the eighth was one of two hits for the Dodgers, who were blanked in a franchise-worst fourth straight road contest Friday. Kyle Kendrick (2-6, 6.38) will try to add to those woes while building on his first win in nine starts. His 6-4 victory in Cincinnati on Wednesday ended a drought that dated back to his season debut April 6. Kendrick gave up one run in his first seven innings before getting charged with three in the eighth while recording one out. The right-hander has mixed results in his two starts against Los Angeles this season. He yielded one run and three hits in seven innings in a 1-0 loss May 17 and gave up six runs in 4 2-3 innings in a 7-3 defeat April 17. Kendrick is 0-5 with a 5.14 ERA in his last six starts versus the Dodgers, with his last win against them as a starter coming in 2010.