Puig Triple Short Of Cycle, Kershaw Shuts Out Rockies 8-0 To Lift Dodgers Out Of Last Place
Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
DENVER (CBSLA.com) — Yasiel Puig’s July is starting exactly the way his June left off.
Hours after Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon publicly claimed that Yasiel Puig has no place in the All-Star Game, Yasiel Puig happened all over the Rockies.
Puig singled, doubled, and homered while Clayton Kershaw threw a complete-game shutout as the Dodgers beat the Rockies 8-0 for their ninth win in ten games, moving into a tie for third place and dropping the rival Giants to last in the NL West.
The San Francisco Giants, who were no hit earlier on Tuesday by Cincinnati Reds starter Homer Bailey, have now lost eight of their last ten.
On the mound, Clayton Kershaw turned in another magnificent performance.
Kershaw struck out eight through nine scoreless frames to become only the third Dodger to record a complete game shutout at Coors Field.
The 25-year old left hander also became the sixth pitcher ever to throw a walk-free shutout at Coors Field, according to ESPN.
Coors Field, in the past, had been something of an Achilles Heel for Kershaw. The former Cy Young winner, coming into Tuesday’s ball game, had a 5.68 ERA, giving up 11 home runs through 11 starts in Denver.
For the Rockies, Roy Oswalt, in just his third start this season, gave up five earned runs over five innings, continuing his rough year.
Hanley Ramirez led off the top of the second inning by slapping an 0-2 pitch into right field to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Ramirez was moved to third when Andre Ethier connected on a 3-1 pitch to single up the middle, and the Dodgers had runners on the corners with no outs.
Matt Kemp earned the RBI when rookie third baseman Nolan Arenado bobbled a grounder next to the bag and decided to throw Kemp out at first, allowing Ramirez to score and giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
The lead was extended to 2-0 later in the inning when Juan Uribe grounded a ball back up the middle to score Ethier from second.
In the third inning, Yasiel Puig, who singled in the first, narrowly missed a home run when he hit a fly ball to right. Instead, the ball missed the stands by about three feet, and Puig raced in to second with a stand-up double.
What made the double special — and scary — was the fact that Puig was going nearly full speed when he reached the bag just ahead of the ball, but he somehow managed to stop in mid-run, keeping his foot on the bag.
It made little difference when he was brought in by a towering home run into the second section of the right field stands by Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez’ shot, his 11th of the year, gave the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.
In the seventh inning, Puig, for the second time in less than a week, put himself in the position of being one hit away from the cycle.
Puig hammered a solo shot to straight-away center, the eighth homer of his career, and the Dodgers extended their lead to 6-0. The homer was estimated at 451 feet — the longest by a Dodger this season.
His eighth homer is the most every by any Dodger through his first 27 career games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Dodgers kept pouring it on as Mark Ellis singled in A.J. Ellis in the eighth and Ethier knocked in Ramirez in the ninth on his second hit of the game, giving him his 25th RBI of the year giving the Dodgers eight runs on the night.
The final at-bat of the game was Michael Cuddyer, who, at the hands of Clayton Kershaw, saw his 27-game hitting streak come to an end when he flew out to none other than Yasiel Puig himself in right field.
It would seem the remarks of Papelbon have had a productive effect for Yasiel Puig and the Dodgers, who have gained seven games in the National League West in 11 days and are 2.5 games out of first place.
For a team on the fast-track, and a young star rise, the remarks, by all means, can keep coming.