JOE RESNICK, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — As befuddled and frustrated as the Colorado Rockies were after getting no-hit by Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday night, they had nothing but admiration for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ two-time Cy Young Award winner afterward.
Only one batter reached base against Kershaw, who had a career-high 15 strikeouts and was deprived of a shot at a perfect game when shortstop Hanley Ramirez committed a two-base throwing error on a slowly hit grounder by Corey Dickerson leading off the seventh.
That was the only blemish on the left-hander’s 8-0 victory, which completed a three-game sweep of the Rockies
“Kershaw’s a stand-up guy — a class act. We tip our hats to him,” Dickerson said. “His stuff was phenomenal tonight. I think all the guys said that.”
One hitter after Dickerson reached base, rookie third baseman Miguel Rojas backhanded Troy Tulowitzki’s grounder behind the bag and let fly with a strong throw to first that Adrian Gonzalez — a three-time Gold Glove winner — scooped out of the dirt.
“That kid at third made a couple of nice plays in the series,” Tulowitzki said. “He’s a good defender, and he might’ve saved a no-hitter.”
Kershaw received a standing ovation from the crowd of 46,069 when he came to bat in the eighth, and another one minutes later after finishing the job against one of baseball’s most dangerous lineups.
The Rockies began the day leading the majors in batting average, hits, total bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. They were first in the NL in runs and homers.
“There are some guys in that lineup that give him fits,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis acknowledged. “But the way he made those guys look tonight was a testament to how good his stuff was. He was pretty dialed in and pretty locked in — especially as the game progressed.”
Cheered on by his wife in the stands, Kershaw (7-2) made quick work of the Rockies in the ninth.
DJ LeMahieu grounded out to first base on the first pitch of the inning and Charlie Culberson hit a lazy fly to right field on the next one. Dickerson then got four straight strikes and went down swinging.
“He’s a bulldog out there. He’s one of the best pitchers in this game, if not the best,” Tulowitzki said. “He was good, no doubt about it. He’s always good. But tonight he was extra special.”
After his 107th and final pitch, a smiling Kershaw raised his arms above his head and waited for a huge hug from Ellis.
“Probably a lot of times when he takes the mound, he has no-hit type stuff, and that was the case tonight,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. “I’ve seen some great pitching performances, but it’s tough to be any better than Kershaw.”
Kershaw’s masterpiece gave the Dodgers the only two no-hitters in the majors this season. Josh Beckett tossed one May 25 in Philadelphia.
“Beckett told me he was going to teach me how to do that, so I have Josh to thank,” Kershaw said during a quick television interview on the field before he was doused by teammates with two large buckets.
The only other time the Dodgers threw two no-hitters in one season was 1956, when the team was still in Brooklyn. Carl Erskine and Sal Maglie turned the trick that year.
Sandy Koufax, who threw four no-hitters, pitched the franchise’s only perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965, against the Chicago Cubs.
“I guess I haven’t really thought of the ramifications of throwing one of these things, but it’s definitely special company,” Kershaw said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Rojas also supported Kershaw with his bat, hitting a three-run double. Gonzalez and Matt Kemp each drove in two runs for the Dodgers.
“I started tearing up out there in the ninth inning,” Ellis said. “It’s a game I’ll watch on replays with my kids forever.”
It was the 22nd no-hitter in Dodgers history and the first at home since Ramon Martinez’s 2-0 gem against the Marlins on July 14, 1995.
“He had command of everything,” Ellis said. “I told him between innings: ‘It’s not fair when you have a devastating slider and a devastating curveball in the same night. And when he does that, nights like this are really possible.”
Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa (6-6) threw 86 pitches over 3 1-3 innings and was charged with eight runs, six hits and five walks. The left-hander is 0-3 with an 8.19 ERA in his last four starts after going 6-0 with a 1.80 ERA during his previous seven outings.
NOTES: The Rockies were no-hit for the third time in franchise history and the second time by the Dodgers. Hideo Nomo threw a no-hitter against them at Coors Field on Sept. 12, 1996, and Al Leiter of the Marlins pitched the other one four months earlier. … Ramirez was replaced on defense by rookie Carlos Triunfel to start the eighth.
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