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It's a struggle for Clayton Kershaw, but Dodgers beat Rockies, 10-8

The Dodgers' ace gets the win despite giving up five earned runs and a career-high 11 hits in five innings. Yasiel Puig leaves the game early with a right knee strain.

September 02, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez

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DENVER — Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig didn't last six innings Monday, but both insisted they were fine after the Dodgers' 10-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Kershaw was credited with his 14th win but had what was his worst start of the season, as he was charged with a season-high five earned runs and a career-high 11 hits in five innings. He said he wasn't fatigued, even though this was his second rough start in a row.

"I haven't hit a wall before," Kershaw said. "I'm not planning on hitting one now."

BOX SCORE: Dodgers 10, Rockies 8

Puig also denied the long season has taken a physical toll on his body, even though lingering stiffness behind his right knee forced the rookie to be removed from the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.

"It's bothered me for a while," Puig said. "Now, it's bothering me a little more."

Puig said he felt something when he reached first base on a throwing error by Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado in the top of the sixth. Puig went from first base to third on a single by Adrian Gonzalez and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hanley Ramirez.

"I'll get treatment tonight and we'll see how it feels tomorrow," Puig said.

The Dodgers' medical staff diagnosed Puig with a mildly strained right knee and listed him as day to day. Mattingly said he planned to rest Puig on Tuesday.

Kershaw's uncharacteristic start and Puig's early exit highlighted another wild day at Coors Field, where high-scoring games and injuries have become relatively common for the Dodgers.

Kershaw allowed the first four batters he faced to reach base. The first three scored, putting the Dodgers in a 3-1 hole.

The Dodgers tied the score, 3-3, in the top of the fifth inning when Juan Uribe singled in Andre Ethier, who doubled with one out. Kershaw followed with a two-run single against reliever Jeff Manship.

But Kershaw couldn't hold the lead, as the Rockies collected three hits and scored twice in the bottom of the inning to make it 5-5.

The Dodgers reclaimed the lead with a three-run sixth, which was highlighted by Ethier's two-run home run. Ethier was three for four with two doubles, three runs batted in and three runs scored.

The mid-game explosion got Kershaw the victory, even as his major league-best earned-run average increased from 1.72 to 1.89.

"He deserved one of these from us," Manager Don Mattingly said, referring to the numerous early games this season in which Kershaw was hurt by poor run support.

Kershaw also didn't pitch well in his previous start, a 3-2 defeat by the Chicago Cubs six days earlier. In that game, he lasted 5 2/3 innings.

Mattingly also said Kershaw didn't look like himself in his start before that one, in which he pitched eight scoreless innings in Miami.

"For me, the last three have been amped up, kind of edgy starts for him, not quite calm," Mattingly said. "Command hasn't been quite as sharp."

Kershaw didn't make any connection between those starts and his latest.

"I just didn't pitch great," Kershaw said. "They just got a ton of hits. It's just one of those days. They beat me up pretty good."

Still, the Dodgers reduced their magic number to win the National League West to 14, as the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-1. The Dodgers' lead over the Diamondbacks is 12 1/2 games.

The Dodgers have 25 games remaining, the Diamondbacks 26.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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