Dodgers dominate Rockies and clinch home-field advantage throughout playoffs

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch.
Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Clayton Kershaw shines in his 400th career game as the Dodgers clinch home-field advantage during Friday’s 10-1 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Here’s what you need to know

Dodgers romp behind Clayton Kershaw and a 15-hit attack

Spring in October? It seems like it for the Dodgers, whose next meaningful game will take place in 11 days.

Until then call it the California Cactus League. The Dodgers will follow their 10-1 romp over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night with five more games against those same purple-clad foes. The regular season ends Wednesday followed by five off days with the Dodgers relegated to intrasquad games.

The National League Division Series begins Oct. 11 against the winner of a best-of-three wild card series. While waiting, the Dodgers will spend every day at home, sleeping in their own beds and reporting to Dodger Stadium for duty until hitting the road for Game 3 of the NLDS.

They’ll also have the home-field advantage through the World Series because Friday they clinched the best record in MLB when the Houston Astros lost to the Tampa Bay Rays while the Dodgers game was in progress.

Thinking through how the next two weeks will unfold, the Dodgers (109-48) are struck by the oddity of finishing a historic regular season coasting to the finish line then going dormant while two wild card teams to be determined slug it out.

What seems like a blessing could be a challenge.

“There would be advantages to jumping into it right away, but there also would be disadvantages,” said Justin Turner, who will begin his ninth consecutive postseason with the Dodgers. “We’ve had plenty of years where we’ve had a layoff before that first series. I always wonder, is that a good or bad thing?

In assembling a lineup and utilizing the pitching staff each day, manager Dave Roberts weighs giving regulars ample rest against keeping them sharp.

“There is a little bit [of a desire] to bubble-wrap guys to get ready for the postseason, but there is also the part of it where you are getting ready for another season and you want to be playing good baseball going into that,” he said.

The Dodgers' Cody Bellinger hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning Sept. 30, 2022.
The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The only regular sidelined Friday was Turner, who has been nursing a sore shin since fouling a ball off it 10 days ago and aggravating it while sliding. He wasn’t needed. Cody Bellinger’s three-run home run triggered an eight-run fourth inning. Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor each had three hits in support of Clayton Kershaw, who pitched six scoreless innings and saw his ERA dip to 2.30.

“If we were in the postseason now [Turner] would be in there, but guarding against any regression is where we are right now,” Roberts said. “Once we get Justin back, I do think the five days off will be beneficial. For some pitchers, that time off will be beneficial, but there will be other guys, specifically on the position player side, who want to keep playing and keep that rhythm.”

They’ll do so only against the last-place Rockies. Why? When the first week of the season was postponed for MLB and the player’s union to complete the collective bargaining agreement, a three-game series against the Rockies was moved to the end of the schedule.

Then will come five off days. After resting Thursday, the Dodgers will play intrasquad games the next three days. A light workout will take place the day before the NLDS begins.

“We will circle back and have guys take live at-bats and pitchers throw to live hitters, all that stuff,” Roberts said.

The Rockies' Yonathan Daza is forced out at second by Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux as Lux throws to first.
The Rockies’ Yonathan Daza is forced out at second by Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux as Lux throws to first during the first inning.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

No franchise knows the perils of staying idle ahead of a postseason series better than the Rockies, who were swept by the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 World Series after a record eight days off.

The Rockies were blistering hot, entering the series having won 21 of 22 games including eight in the postseason. But after sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS, they hunkered down at their spring training facility in Tucson waiting for the Red Sox to take a seven-game series against the Cleveland Indians.

The Rockies were outscored in the World Series 29-10.

Turner said the Dodgers are savvy enough to avoid a letdown or gather rust.

“I don’t think there will be a bunch of team meetings and rah-rah stuff,” he said. “If you look around this [clubhouse], there is a surplus of postseason experience and guys know what this is about, what it’s like to play in it.”

Short hops: Injured pitchers Tony Gonsolin (forearm), Dustin May (back) and Blake Treinen (shoulder) each made positive strides. Gonsolin is furthest along, scheduled to pitch three innings Monday against the Rockies. Roberts said he’s “confident” May will be able to pitch in the NLDS. With Treinen, however, he downgraded his assessment to “hopeful.”


Dodgers open six-game series vs. Rockies with blowout win

Cody Bellinger hit a three-run home run and Clayton Kershaw pitched six shutout innings to spearhead the Dodgers’ 10-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.

Bellinger’s 18th home run of the season sparked an eight-run scoring spree in the fourth inning. Kershaw allowed five hits and struck out four over six solid innings in his 400th career game.

Colorado’s Elias Diaz drove in Brendan Rodgers on sacrifice fly off Hanser Alberto for the Rockies’ lone run.

The Dodgers improved to 109-48 and the Rockies fell to 65-92. The Dodgers and Rockies will meet again Saturday at 6:10 p.m. PDT.


Hanser Alberto makes it 10-0 Dodgers in the eighth

Hanser Alberto bounced a double off the wall in the left-field corner to drive in Will Smith and make it 10-0 Dodgers in the eighth inning.

Smith hit a two-out double to right field off Rockies reliever Ty Blach before scoring on the next at-bat.

End of the eighth: Dodgers 10, Rockies 0


Clayton Kershaw shines in his penultimate start of regular season

Clayton Kershaw put in a solid effort during his 400th career game, scattering five hits, striking out four and walking two over six shutout innings. He lowered his earned-run average to 2.30 and appears well on his way to his 11th win of 2022.

Yency Almonte will take over on the mound for the Dodgers in the seventh inning.

End of the sixth: Dodgers 9, Rockies 0


Cody Bellinger’s three-run homer jump starts Dodgers’ offense

Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning Friday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Cody Bellinger hit a three-run home run to ignite an eight-run scoring spree for the Dodgers in the fourth inning, giving them a 9-0 lead over the Rockies after four innings.

It was Bellinger’s 18th home run of the season and his first since Aug. 21.

The Dodgers opened the fourth with four consecutive hits — Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor each singled before Bellinger’s blast to right-center field. Mookie Betts followed with a liner to left for a double.

Rockies starter Chad Kuhl’s night ended after he walked Freddie Freeman with one out in the fourth.

With Jake Bird taking over on the mound, the Rockies fared no better.

Will Smith singled to left to drive in Betts. Max Muncy then hit a ground-rule double over the wall in center field to plate Freeman before Trayce Thompson singled in Smith.

Taylor capped the scoring fest with a two-run single to center on his second at-bat of the inning.

Kuhl allowed eight hits, six earned runs, struck out two and walked three over 3 1/3 innings.

End of the fourth: Dodgers 9, Rockies 0


Dodgers clinch home-field advantage throughout playoffs

Colorado's Yonathan Daza, right, is forced out at second by Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux.
Colorado’s Yonathan Daza, right, is forced out at second by Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux as part of a first-inning double play Friday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

With the Tampa Bay Rays’ 7-3 win over the Houston Astros, the Dodgers clinched home-field advantage for the entire postseason.

The Dodgers entered tonight’s game with a magic number of one to clinch home-field advantage in the World Series, needing either a win over the Rockies or an Astros loss.

The Rays made the Dodgers’ job a little easier, even if it was practically a foregone conclusion that the Dodgers would achieve the feat heading into their final series of the regular season.


Mookie Betts drives in game’s first run

Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after scoring on a double.
Chris Taylor celebrates with teammates after scoring the Dodgers’ first run Friday against the Rockies.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Mookie Betts finds the gap in left-center field off Rockies starter Chad Kuhl, driving in Chris Taylor to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

The Dodgers are 74-13 when scoring the game’s first run. Taylor reached base on a single.

End of the second: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0


Dodgers load up the bases, but can’t drive in a run

The Dodgers loaded the bases in the first, but Rockies starter Chad Kuhl struck out Trayce Thompson with his 31st pitch of the inning to escape and keep the game scoreless.

Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman each singled before Max Muncy drew a walk to load the bases. Kuhl then struck out Thompson on an 86-mph slider to cap the frame.

The inning featured Rockies rookie right fielder Michael Toglia taking a tumble into the field-level seats while trying to chase down a flyball that hit the protective netting. The former UCLA standout laughed about it as he ran back on the field.

End of the first: Rockies 0, Dodgers 0


Starting lineups for Dodgers and Rockies

Here are the starting lineups for the Dodgers and Colorado Rockies:


Trevor Bauer’s defamation case against accuser’s former attorney could be thrown out

Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer covers first base.
Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer covers first base during a game against the Texas Rangers in June 2021.
(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer and his attorneys misrepresented the findings of the judge who denied a restraining order to a woman who accused him of sexual assault, according to a tentative ruling posted on a federal court website Friday.

The ruling, if it stands, would throw out Bauer’s defamation case against Fred Thiagarajah, a former attorney for the accuser. U.S. District Court Judge James Selna said either side could ask for a hearing before the ruling is finalized.

Bauer has sued five other parties for defamation, including the accuser, the Athletic and Deadspin. Those cases are pending, as is Bauer’s appeal of his two-year suspension for violating baseball’s policy on sexual assault and domestic violence.

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Jaime Jarrín’s dignity driven by his sense of duty as a Latino immigrant

VIDEO | 09:02
Dodgers icon Jaime Jarrin poised to sign off

Jaime Jarrín was always around.

Long before I knew him personally, or even before I knew his primary occupation, I’d see him at halftime of the soccer games I watched on television.

I’d hear his voice when my great grandmother’s favorite Mexican soap opera went to commercial.

“Seis, treinta y seis, treinta y seis, treinta y seis.”

Six, thirty-six, thirty-six, thirty-six — the most famous phone number in Los Angeles.

The attorney network Los Defensores’ commercials have been omnipresent on Spanish-language television in Southern California for the last four decades, and this is how many of us were introduced to Jarrín, who will retire as the Spanish voice of the Dodgers at the end of this season.

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Miguel Vargas, Andrew Heaney bolster their October cases

SAN DIEGO — It’s dress rehearsal week for the Dodgers.

And in a 5-2 win against the San Diego Padres on Thursday night, they witnessed some intriguing performances from a couple of players with yet-to-be determined roles.

Andrew Heaney shined in his first appearance out of the bullpen, pitching four scoreless innings as a bulk reliever. A new-look bullpen without a designated closer once again delivered, stringing together four more spotless innings in a series rubber match at Petco Park.

And perhaps the biggest wild card of all, rookie outfielder Miguel Vargas, produced the night’s biggest hit, giving renewed life to his case of making the postseason roster with a tiebreaking two-run single in the sixth inning.

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How to watch and stream the Dodgers-Rockies series

Here’s a look at the Dodgers broadcast and streaming schedule for the final series of the regular season: