After a more than 3 ½-hour contest with Colorado, the Dodgers ended up on top in a 10-8 victory against the Rockies.
In the high-scoring, back-and-forth affair, Clayton Kershaw got rocked for five runs, Andre Ethier and Juan Uribe contributed three hits each, and Yasiel Puig was removed with an injury.
Coors Field has always been a ballpark where pitcher ERAs go to die, even for aces like Kershaw. In five innings, he gave up 11 hits and one walk for five runs with just four strikeouts. That was the first time this season he has given up five runs, and of course he was given the win.
Kershaw was not sharp from the start, giving up three runs before getting an out in the first inning. In the fifth inning, he gave up three more hits for two runs. He was pulled after 81 pitches and five runs allowed.
In 2013, there have been nine times that he has allowed two or less earned runs, but ended up with a loss or a no-decision. That says a lot about the value of pitcher wins and losses, as well as the support he received from the Dodgers offense on Monday.
They scored 10 runs on 15 hits, but things did not really get moving until a three-run fifth inning. Down 2-3 in the fifth, Uribe hit an RBI single and was followed by Kershaw who drove in two runs on a single, giving them a 6-3 lead.
From that point on the Dodgers held the lead, scoring three more in the sixth, and two in the ninth. Ethier had a great game with the bat, going 3-4 with a double, a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored. Uribe was 3-5 with two RBIs. A.J. Ellis was 1-4 with a walk and two runs scored.
It was a wild game, and every time it looked like the Dodgers might pull away, Colorado fought to keep it close. Out of the bullpen, Brandon League and Brian Wilson each threw a scoreless inning, but the Rockies scored two runs in the eighth off Ronald Belisario on four hits.
In the ninth, Kenley Jansen gave up a rare home run. It was his first allowed since June 15 in Pittsburgh and just his second earned run since July 24. He still earned the save, his 25th of the season as the Dodgers won 10-8.
Another note, the kind you definitely do not want to hear, is that Yasiel Puig was pulled from the game in the sixth inning with what the Dodgers announced as a mild right knee strain. No word yet on what that will mean in terms of games missed for the young right fielder.
With the win in the series opener, and the sweep against the Padres, the Dodgers are on a five-game winning streak. Ricky Nolasco looks to keep the run alive on Tuesday against Jhoulys Chacin of Colorado.