While the Dodgers were rallying during a fourth inning that took 41 minutes, Clayton Kershaw was inside tossing some pitches against the wall trying to stay loose.
Manager Dave Roberts was inside, too, having been ejected early in the pivotal inning that propelled Los Angeles to a 12-5 rout of the Colorado Rockies for its 99th victory this season.
“I’m happy to see our guys respond with that outburst in the inning,” Roberts said.
A.J. Pollock led the way in the seven-run inning with a three-run homer.
“That’s what we do,” Kershaw said of his teammates’ offensive show.
The NL West champions improved to 14-3 against the Rockies this year, including 7-0 at home. Colorado has dropped 12 straight games at Dodger Stadium, tying Cincinnati for the longest skid at the ballpark.
At 58-21, the Dodgers have their best home record since the franchise moved to Los Angeles for the 1958 season. They are closing in on their second 100-win season in three years.
Kershaw (15-5) put the Dodgers in a 3-0 hole with back-to-back homers to Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon in the first, and an RBI single by Tony Wolters in the second.
“Not a lot of good tonight on my part,” Kershaw said. “I don’t know why, but need to get better. Got one more (start) to figure it out before things get going.”
Kershaw gave up another homer to Garrett Hampson in the fourth that left the Dodgers trailing 4-1. Kershaw allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings, struck out five and walked one.
“He wasn’t particularly sharp,” Roberts said. “Once the postseason starts he’s going to perform.”
Kershaw gave up multiple first-inning homers for the second time in his career. He’s also been dinged by single homers in the first this season.
“I’m guessing he would say that wasn’t a very good night for him,” Arenado said, “but he still went six innings, slider was still pretty nasty.”
Roberts got thrown out by plate umpire Greg Gibson for arguing balls and strikes in the bottom of the fourth. Roberts had been the only big league manager not tossed this season.
“I just thought there was a call that was a ball and he took offense to it,” Roberts said. “I thought it was a quick hook.”
In the especially long inning, Colorado’s three pitchers threw 61 pitches to 12 batters. The Dodgers tied a season high with seven runs, five hits, three walks and one batter hit by a pitch. The Rockies committed an error on a pickoff throw, too.
Corey Seager got the comeback going with a solo shot off rookie Peter Lambert (3-7). Will Smith reached on an infield single that scored Chris Taylor, who was hit by a pitch.
The Dodgers scored the tying and go-ahead runs on back-to-back RBI singles by pinch-hitter Kiké Hernández and Max Muncy that made it 5-4.
Pollock followed with his three-run shot to off Sam Howard that scored Hernández and Muncy, extending the lead to 8-4.
The Dodgers tacked on four more runs in the seventh, when rookie Gavin Lux and Hernández had RBI singles and Muncy added a two-run RBI double.
Sam Hilliard stroked Colorado’s third homer of the game in the eighth with his first career pinch-hit homer.
Lambert gave up five runs and six hits in three-plus innings.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland, out for a month with a left groin strain, could possibly work in relief Saturday. He would be on a 35-40 pitch limit if he does. He’s struggled this season, with a 6.98 ERA in 20 starts for the team when he wasn’t spending stretches at Triple-A Albuquerque.
Dodgers: Muncy experienced some tightness in his quad and it’s not certain he’ll play Saturday. … 3B Justin Turner, out since Sept. 7 with a sprained left ankle, walked as a pinch hitter in the seventh and will start Saturday to get a few at-bats. … LHP Rich Hill (left knee strain) threw 17 pitches to hitters and had no pain while wearing a brace on his knee. He will start Tuesday at San Diego.
IN THE SEATS
The Dodgers set a single-season attendance record with 3,875,656, surpassing their 2018 total of 3,857,500 in 83 games.
ON A LOSING NOTE
The Rockies haven’t won at Dodger Stadium since June 30, 2018, and their 12-game skid is the longest in LA in franchise history. Only a 13-game losing streak in San Francisco (1999-2001) is longer for them in any road city.
Rockies: RHP Chi Chi González (1-6, 6.23 ERA) has no decisions in two starts with a 4.35 ERA against the Dodgers this season.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (13-3, 3.15) flip-flops in the rotation with LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu and starts Saturday while Ryu goes Sunday.