Rockies can’t hang with Kershaw and Puig

Barry Gutierrez/Associated Press

It was a sign of how the rest of the night went for the Colorado Rockies that Michael Cuddyer’s hit streak, the longest in the majors, came to an end Tuesday in an 8-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cuddyer reached base in 46 consecutive games before that streak also ended Tuesday.

By Pat Graham
AP Sports Writer

DENVER – Clayton Kershaw tossed a four-hitter for his second shutout of the season, and rookie sensation Yasiel Puig had three more hits, including a solo homer, to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 8-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

The 22-year-old Puig also added a double and a single to raise his average to .443 this season.

Kershaw (7-5) kept the Rockies off balance all night, even top hitter Michael Cuddyer, who had his franchise-record 27-game hitting streak halted after going hitless in four plate appearances. Cuddyer flied out to Puig in right to end the game.

The hard-throwing Kershaw had eight strikeouts and walked none. He only allowed one runner to get to second all evening.

Roy Oswalt (0-3) was roughed up in his first start at Coors Field this season. He allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings.

Adrian Gonzalez broke open the game with a two-run homer in the third and Juan Uribe added a pair of RBI singles. Hanley Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the second.

Kershaw found himself in a rather unfamiliar position – with a big early lead. He entered the game with the second-lowest run support of any NL starter.

But the Dodgers gave Kershaw an early four-run cushion, more than enough for him. It was Kershaw’s third complete game of the season and second shutout. He held the San Francisco Giants without a run in his first start of the season on April 1.

Kershaw might have had the play of the game against the Rockies – or at least the most comical – when he lost his glove trying to field a bunt.

No matter, he picked it up barehanded and threw out Josh Rutledge.

The fans showed up early to watch Puig send one monster shot after another into the stands during batting practice.

Puig was even more impressive once the game began.

These days, it’s hard not to take notice of Puig. His 44 hits in June were a Dodgers rookie record for a month.

He carried it over into July with a single in the first and a double off the right-field scoreboard in the third. After taking a called third strike, Puig sent a pitch from reliever Adam Ottavino over the fence in the deepest part of the park for his eighth homer this season.

Puig wasn’t done there. He also made a running catch in foul territory, veering right for the seats before suddenly turning to avoid a collision. He then trotted into the dugout as if it were just another routine play.

“Exciting player. Big guy with a lot of athleticism,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “Brought a lot of excitement to that club.”

The same can be said of Cuddyer, who failed to get a hit for the first time since May 27. His streak was the longest in the majors this season.

Cuddyer didn’t reach base, either, bringing his streak of 46 consecutive games with a hit, walk or being plunked by a pitch to an end.

Before the game, Cuddyer said he’s taken his career-long hitting streak in stride, not stressing out about it.

“I’m not scared to talk about it because it’s going to end eventually,” Cuddyer said. “There’s no reason to act different.”

He couldn’t even begin to fathom hitting in 56 in a row like Joe DiMaggio.

“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “It’s one of those records, for me, that’s unattainable.”

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