Dodgers beat Rockies in rain-shortened game

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DENVER (AP) - Clayton Kershaw conquered Coors Field and the weather in one afternoon.

Kershaw overcame his past struggles in Denver, striking out nine and going the distance as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 Sunday in a game cut short by rain in the sixth inning.

Hanley Ramirez homered as L.A. broke open the game with four runs in the top of the sixth. The game was then delayed 1 hour, 35 minutes before it was called.

The shorter game was helpful to the scuffling Dodgers, who had lost six of eight before taking two out of three from the slumping Rockies.

“It was one of those wins you kind of like because you don’t have to end up using your pen,” manager Don Mattingly said. “So it ends up being pretty good.”

Matt Kemp had a triple and two RBIs for the Dodgers, who played without outfielder Yasiel Puig and second baseman Dee Gordon, both of whom sustained hip injuries Saturday.

Chone Figgins singled and also scored a run filling in for Gordon at the top of the lineup.

Rain started falling in the second inning and was steady for the rest of the afternoon. The moisture appeared to affect Kershaw (5-2) when he faced Brandon Barnes in the bottom of the third. He threw one pitch high to the backstop and then bounced the next one in front of the plate.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner said afterward the wet weather was helpful.

“The rain sometimes helps here as far as getting some moisture on the ball and being a little more humid,” Kershaw said. “It helps with the break.”

In the middle of the fifth, lightning flashed and a loud clap of thunder sent fans scurrying for cover while Kershaw calmly warmed up on the mound. He worked a perfect bottom of the inning.

“Teams that I’ve coached and played on, I don’t think we had anybody quite like him,” Mattingly said. “I’ve seen some pretty good guys in (Mike) Mussina and (Andy) Pettitte, but not quite the same as Clayton.”

Kershaw struck out nine for the fourth consecutive game and fifth time this season. He was also able to leave Coors Field on a high note after having mixed results in the past.

He pitched a four-hit shutout last July 2 but two months later was rocked for five runs and a season-high 11 hits in five innings and saw his ERA jump from 1.72 to 1.89.

Entering Sunday he had a 5.24 ERA in 13 starts at Coors Field but he fanned six through the first two innings and didn’t walk a batter.

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