DENVER — Don Mattingly made a rather bold prediction after Clayton Kershaw’s latest masterful performance: His ace will give up another run at some point this season.
“I know I’m going out on a limb,” the Los Angeles Dodgers manager joked.
Lately, Kershaw has looked that untouchable.
The hard-throwing lefty nearly had no-hit stuff against Colorado again, allowing only two singles over eight innings as the Dodgers beat the Rockies 9-0 on Friday.
What’s more, Kershaw (10-2) extended his scoreless streak to 36 innings before being replaced by a pinch hitter in the ninth. Kershaw bottled up the top-hitting team in the majors in nearly matching the no-hitter he threw against the Rockies on June 18. 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.
“Anytime he takes the mound, he’s capable of the run he’s been on,” catcher A.J. Ellis said.
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.
Jair Jurrjens (0-1) struggled in his first big-league start in a year, lasting 4⅔ innings and giving up eight runs.
After the game, Jurrjens was taken to a nearby hospital for tests after developing breathing issues, though the problems had dissipated.
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.
Kershaw hasn’t allowed a run since the third inning against Arizona on June 13. The team — and major league — record is 59 straight by Orel Hershiser in 1988.
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.