DENVER — A few minutes after the Dodgers-Colorado Rockies game ended Sunday, Coors Field took on a gloomy aura as a steady rain began to fall.
But it wasn't nearly as gloomy as the look on Clayton Kershaw's face in the Dodgers' clubhouse.
For the second consecutive game, the 21-year-old left-hander from Texas was pummeled by opposing batters, this time as the Rockies beat the Dodgers, 10-4.
It was the most runs surrendered by Dodgers pitching in a game this year, and the loss ended the team's winning streak at three games.
Kershaw (0-2) was charged with nine runs in 4 2/3 innings, but even that statistic didn't completely convey his problems.
He gave up a single to the opposing pitcher, Jason Marquis, who later scored. And Kershaw gave up a bases-loaded walk to let the Rockies score another run.
Worse yet, Kershaw had been pummeled in his prior start, when he gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Astros in Houston.
"It's frustrating to give up runs like that, but there's no excuses," Kershaw said. "It's not a mechanical thing, it's just pitching poor."
Ryan Spilborghs and Clint Barmes led the Rockies as each hit two-run home runs. And after Kershaw left with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Jeff Baker tripled to drive home all three runners.
In contrast, Marquis (3-1) largely held the Dodgers in check over 7 1/3 innings in front of 35,505.
Kershaw drew raves this month after he struck out 13 and gave up one run in seven innings against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium, dropping his earned-run average to 1.50.
Now his ERA is 7.29, and Kershaw and the Dodgers face the challenge of putting that behind them before his next start, probably Friday at home against the San Diego Padres.
The coaching staff needs to "remind him of his stuff, remind of him of how he felt in that 13-strikeout game," Manager Joe Torre said.
"He's not afraid of anything, that I can tell you, it's just a matter of going out there and being able to repeat it and minimize damage," Torre said. "We weren't able to minimize damage today."
Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said Kershaw would "just have to battle through it," which Honeycutt acknowledged is "tough for a young guy."
"He's got a tough-enough mental approach, he's got quality stuff, he's just had a couple of rough outings," Honeycutt said. "He's confident in his abilities, which is a huge plus. And we have confidence in him when we give him the ball."
Kershaw's problems began in the third inning when he walked Chris Iannetta and Barmes hit a home run. Kershaw then repeated the mistake -- a walk to Troy Tulowitzki followed by Spilborghs' home run.
The Rockies scored five more times in the fifth inning. The rally included singles by Marquis, Dexter Fowler and Spilborghs, a wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk by Kershaw and then Baker's triple that blew the game open.
The Dodgers got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning when Juan Pierre, filling in for a resting Manny Ramirez in left field, singled and Orlando Hudson walked. Both scored on James Loney's double to right-center field.
Hudson was 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at 11 games.
The Dodgers added a run in the eighth inning on consecutive doubles by Loney and Russell Martin, and scored one in the ninth when Loney grounded out with the bases loaded, enabling Mark Loretta to score from third base.
The Dodgers travel to San Francisco to play the Giants at AT&T Park tonight.Then they return to Dodger Stadium on Thursday to open an 11-game homestand, the longest of the year, with the Padres. In the meantime, Kershaw said he would try to forget his last two starts.
"It's something that you've just got to get over," he said. "By the time that fifth day rolls around, you've got to be ready."