The Dodgers can finally put up the victory sign.
Scott Van Slyke hit his first home run of the season and Clayton Kershaw struck out 10 as the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped a three-game losing streak, with a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on USC Night at Dodger Stadium.
Trojans' head coach Clay Helton helped the Dodgers embody the Spirit of Troy as the Boys in Blue rallied from an early one-run deficit in the first inning.
��: Jon SooHoo pic.twitter.com/yE6rnoiDyq
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) April 20, 2017
The start of the game was delayed a couple minutes as Rockies' starter Tyler Anderson exited the bullpen late and took his time walking down the first base line to the visitor's dugout.
Kershaw, was not amused as he stepped off the mound and stared down Anderson before throwing the first pitch of the night. The gamesmanship shown by Colorado worked, as Kershaw struggled to start the game.
"That was one of the more disrespectful things I've ever been a part of," said a visibly upset Kershaw about the incident. "I really didn't appreciate that. The game starts at 7:10, it's started at that time for a long time. Just go around or finish earlier."
After a leadoff walk to Charlie Blackmon, Kershaw allowed back-to-back singles to D.J. LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado before settling in and getting out of the inning trailing only, 1-0.
"I was fortunate to get out of that with only one run," said Kershaw. "That first inning could have sprouted out of contol, and I'm thankful I got out of that for sure."
Van Slyke tied the game in the bottom of the second inning with his first home run of the season on a cut-fastball from Anderson that he drilled to left-center.
The Dodgers outfielder has struggled at the plate this season, hitting .118 with a paltry .176 slugging percentage entering Wednesday's contest.
"He hasn't had a lot of luck this year," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts onVan Slyke's struggles. "For him to elevate to the pull side and get that homer, that was big for us."
The game remained tied into the fifth inning before the Dodgers learned to "fight on," passing the baton along to the tune of three runs in the bottom half of the frame.
Newly recalled infielder Chris Taylor kicked things off with a double, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kershaw. Kershaw was safe at first on an error on the play, and moved to third on an RBI double by Kiké Hernandez.
"It's nice to get off on a good foot," said Taylor. "It takes a lot of pressure off, now I can relax and just go out there and play."
Taylor went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored in his season debut after he was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City before the game.
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) April 20, 2017
Corey Seager followed Hernandez with an RBI single and Hernandez scored two batters later on fielder's choice groundout to short by Adrian Gonzalez.
Seager reached a milestone in the game, becoming just the sixth player in NL history since 1920 to have 200 hits, 100 runs, 100 RBI, 50 doubles and 30 HR in their first 200 career games.
Despite allowing two runs at Dodger Stadium for the first time in his last 10 starts, Kershaw (3-1) was excellent once again, allowing just five hits, with one walk and 10 punchouts in seven strong innings.
"'Really solid' is the way to describe his outing," said Roberts. "They put together some good at-bats against him. He really didn't have his rhythm tonight."
It was the 52nd time in Kershaw's illustrious and decorated career that he struck out 10 or more.
Trevor Story is the latest to fall head-over-heels for Clayton Kershaw's Curveball pic.twitter.com/0nD9d0JUTy
— Pitcher List (@ThePitcherList) April 20, 2017
Kenley Jansen entered the game with two outs in the eighth inning and worked his way out of a jam before throwing a perfect ninth inning for the save. It was Jansen's fourth save of the season and second consecutive of the four-out variety.
The Dodgers (8-8) improved to 3-8 when facing a left-handed starter this season with two of those wins coming against Anderson of the Rockies. The other victory was last Saturday night against Patrick Corbin of the D-Backs.
Notes: The Dodgers placed 2B Logan Forsythe and OF/IF Rob Segedin on the 10-day DL before the game, recalling Chris Taylor and OF Brett Eibner before the game. Colorado OF, Carlos Gonzalez, left the game with a bruised right hand after getting hit by Kershaw fastball in the fourth inning. X-Rays were negative.
The Dodgers have an off day on Thursday before traveling to the Desert for a rematch with the Diamondbacks. Alex Wood is slated to start on Friday night opposite RHP Taijuan Walker at 6:40PM PST.