Jon Gray Starts Strong, But Colorado Rockies Can’t Overcome Clayton Kershaw


Sep 14, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher

Jon Gray

(55) is doubled up at second base by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman

Chase Utley

(26) in the third inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers met for the first contest of a three-game set at historic Dodger Stadium in the city of Angels.

108. Final. 4. 71. 1

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Jon Gray had in many ways the best outing of his young career on Monday night, but going up against one of baseball’s best in Clayton Kershaw is no small feat, and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace got the better of the young prospect, as the Colorado Rockies lost 4-1 Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

Gray matched Kershaw into the fifth inning — and in some ways, was better than the Dodgers’ lefty — but due to the pitch count imposed by Rockies’ manager Walt Weiss (which Gray exceeded anyways) and a jam in the fifth, he was lifted prematurely.

The Rockies got on the board first in the top of the first, thanks to an RBI groundout from Carlos Gonzalez that came after a walk to DJ LeMahieu and a double by Nolan Arenado, but that score four batters into the game was the only damage the Rockies would do all night.

[ Related: Kyle Kendrick proves himself to the Colorado Rockies ]

Kershaw, who went seven innings, allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out five batters in his usual dominant, overpowering start. Gray matched him admirably though, albeit for a shorter time, lasting 4.2 innings and allowing just two runs of his own on six hits and two walks while striking out a career-high and game-best eight Dodgers’ hitters.

Gray was tagged with the loss, after giving up a run int he second inning on a sacrifice fly from Yasmani Grandal, and another in the fifth inning on Justin Turner‘s RBI double, though the Colorado Rockies certainly had opportunities late and couldn’t cash in on runners on base.

The Dodgers put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth inning when Scott Schebler clubbed a two-run home run off reliever Miguel Castro. Other than Castro, though, the Colorado Rockies bullpen was stellar; Brooks Brown, Christian Friedrich, and Rex Brothers combined on 2.1 scoreless innings in what was a one-run game at that point.

The Rockies had at least one runner on base in the third, fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings — and that included lead off runners in the third, fifth, seventh, and eighth — but nothing would come of it off Kershaw, or Dodgers’ relievers Luis Avilan, Juan Nicasio, and Chris Hatcher, who earned the save after throwing the ninth.

Now, the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers will play again Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium at 8:10 pm MT, with Chris Rusin going up against former Rockies pitcher Brett Anderson.

**Editor’s note: I was at the game tonight hanging out with friends (did you know I live in LA? Like, totally!). I’ll also be at the Tuesday and Wednesday night games. Point here is two-fold: (a) if you’re in LA and going to games, let me know, and (b) expect slightly later recap posts for these three games. My apologies. Dodger Stadium is the place to be!

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