LA Dodgers 5, Colorado 2
When: 10:10 PM ET, Friday, September 23, 2016
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Larry Vanover, 1B -
David Rackley, 2B -
Mark Ripperger, 3B -
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers endured another injury to their starting rotation but that did little to derail them as they inched closer to a franchise-record fourth straight National League West title.
Joc Pederson and Andre Ethier homered, and the Dodgers captured a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies before an announced sellout crowd of 52,320 at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.
With the second-place San Francisco Giants losing to the Padres 7-2 in San Diego, the Dodgers (88-66) reduced their magic number to two to win the division.
"It's getting smaller," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the margin for clinching another crown.
Reliever Ross Stripling (5-8), who has filled in as a spot starter several times this season, worked three scoreless innings for the win. Stripling said he had been given a heads up before the game that Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir wasn't feeling well.
"It's long relief, so it's kind of like a start," said Stripling, who struck out four, walked two and limited the Rockies to two hits. "I can still kind of pitch the way I'm using to pitching as far as setting a guy up for maybe another (at-bat) because I'll probably see him again versus just going right at him and striking him out."
Stripling struck up the chord for a string of relievers to the mound after Kazmir lasted one inning before leaving with right intercostal spasms. Kazmir, who allowed two hits and threw 19 pitches (13 strikes), was making his first appearance in a month after dealing with neck issues.
"It's tough for me to swallow only going one inning and having the bullpen pick us up, and me up, but that's what they did," said Kazmir, who said he was removed for precautionary reasons. "That's awesome what 'Strip' and all those guys did today."
Closer Kenley Jansen fanned two and recorded his 47th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Rockies starter Jon Gray (10-9) struck out 10, walked three and surrendered four runs on three hits in four innings. Gray, who set a club record with 16 strikeouts in a complete-game shutout of the Padres on Saturday, is 2-2 in five starts against the Dodgers this year.
"I knew from the get-go it would be a tough day with no fastball command," Gray said. "I was trying to figure out how to keep myself out there and get through this game without it. I had pretty good sliders but other than that I didn't really have a pretty good feel."
Gray set another Rockies' mark with 26 strikeouts in the past two games.
"His stuff was real sharp (but) a lot of misses early and high pitch count,'' Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "He ran (the pitch count) up pretty good through four innings."
Nolan Arenado hit his NL-leading 40th home run and Tom Murphy had an RBI single for the Rockies (73-81). Arenado is the third Rockies' hitter to post consecutive 40 home-run seasons, joining Vinny Castilla (1996-98) and Andres Galarraga (1996-97).
Adrian Gonzalez, who went 1-for-2 with an RBI, hit a sacrifice fly to plate Chase Utley to cap the scoring in the seventh.
Yasmani Grandal, the star of Thursday's contest with two home runs including the go-ahead grand slam, blooped a two-run single to right for a 2-0 Los Angeles lead with one out in the first inning.
That was the only hit Gray gave up until Pederson and Ethier tagged him for back-to-back solo blasts with two outs in the fourth. That padded the Dodgers' cushion to 4-0. It was the ninth time the Dodgers have hit consecutive home runs this season.
For Pederson, it was his 24th of the season, while Ethier, who missed most of the season with a broken leg, clubbed his first and fourth in his career as a pinch-hitter.
Colorado's DJ LeMahieu saw his 38-game streak of reaching base end after going 0-for-4.
NOTES: Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully was celebrated during a pregame ceremony. Speakers included Sandy Koufax, Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw, Kevin Costner, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, Dodgers CEO Mark Walter, former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley, ex-manager Tommy Lasorda and L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti. Scully, 88, works his final broadcast at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. He will close out his 67-year career Oct. 2 when the Dodgers visit the San Francisco Giants. ... The Dodgers reinstated LHP Scott Kazmir from the 15-day disabled list and recalled INF Chris Taylor from Triple-A Oklahoma City, giving the team 39 players on its active roster. RHP Brandon McCarthy is expected to be the final player activated Saturday. ... Rockies RHP Chad Bettis (13-7, 4.79 ERA) faces Kershaw (11-3, 1.73) on Saturday.
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