DENVER (AP) — Shortly after leaving the game, starter Jair Jurrjens left the stadium with breathing issues and was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
Though the problems dissipated, the Rockies still had him go to the hospital. It’s the latest blow for a reeling Colorado Rockies team that once again struggled to hit Clayton Kershaw in a 9-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.
The Rockies followed up their worst June in team history (8-20) by dropping their fourth straight in July.
“At this point, we’ve got to be tired of getting kicked around,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “I think it’s up to us to do something about it.
“Guys show up and compete well every day, but it’s time to turn it around.”
Jurrjens (0-1) struggled in his first big-league start in a year, lasting 4 2-3 innings and giving up eight runs. The Rockies acquired Jurrjens in a trade with Cincinnati two days ago to bolster a rotation ravaged by injuries. He became the 13th different starter Colorado has used this season.
Jurrjens last pitched in the big leagues on June 29, 2013, when he was with Baltimore. He was replacing Jhoulys Chacin, who’s on the 60-day disabled list with an inflamed right shoulder.
Kershaw nearly had no-hit stuff against Colorado again, allowing only two singles over eight innings.
What’s more, Kershaw (10-2) extended his scoreless streak to 36 innings before being replaced by a pinch hitter in the ninth. The hard-throwing lefty bottled up the top-hitting team in the majors in nearly matching the no-hitter he threw against the Rockies on June 18 at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw struck out eight and walked one.
“You don’t ever want to give up a run,” Kershaw casually said. “I guess that’s the goal.”
The nastiness of Kershaw’s slider – the best pitch in baseball, Drew Stubbs labeled it – is fueling his roll.
“He’s on a pretty good roll, approaching historic measures,” Weiss said. “He’s locked in right now and we saw it today.”
Yasiel Puig hit a two-run shot – his first homer since May 28 – and Scott Van Slyke added a three-run homer as the Dodgers had a season-high 19 hits.
Kershaw was coming off quite a June in which he went 6-0 with a 0.82 ERA. He carried it over to July as he allowed only DJ LeMahieu’s single in the third and Nolan Arenado’s base hit in the seventh.
The 26-year-old Kershaw hasn’t allowed a run since the third inning against Arizona on June 13. His scoreless innings streak is the third-longest in Los Angeles history, according to information from the Elias Sports Bureau provided by the Dodgers. The team – and major league – record is 59 straight by Orel Hershiser in 1988.
Of those 36 scoreless innings Kershaw has turned in, 17 have now been at Colorado’s expense. The Rockies didn’t have Troy Tulowitzki (tight groin) in the lineup Friday night.
Kershaw also did some damage with his bat as he laced an RBI single to left as part of a five-run fifth to break the game open. It was Kershaw’s first RBI of the season.
Colorado finally solved Kershaw in the third when LeMahieu lined a base hit to right. Jurrjens followed with a bunt that Kershaw wildly threw to first for an error, putting runners on first and third with one out.
But Kershaw picked off Jurrjens and then struck out Charlie Blackmon to keep his scoreless innings streak intact.
“During this run, he’s had an `A’ curveball and an `A’ slider this entire time,” catcher A.J. Ellis said. “They’re both electric strikeout pitches.”
The Dodgers hit for the cycle in the first to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Dee Gordon began with a bunt single and Puig followed with a two-run homer. Hanley Ramirez added a double and scored on Andre Ethier’s two-out triple.
NOTES: Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez (left index finger) hit in the cage Friday. … LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Decorated Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen posted on her Twitter account a picture from the Rockies game and a message saying: “Thank you to the rockies for my first outing! You guys have been amazing to us!” Van Dyken-Rouen is rehabbing at nearby Craig Hospital after an accident on an all-terrain vehicle left her paralyzed.