But a funny thing happened on the way to a second consecutive loss to the Rockies. Kershaw pitched a brilliant eight innings of two-hit ball. Jonathan Broxton nailed the win down and recorded his third save of the season, cutting his earned run average down to 1.54 and fanning his 20th batter while issuing only one walk.
The Dodgers just-turned-22-year-old left-hander struck out nine, walked three and fanned five-time All-Star Todd Helton his first three times up. Usually a Dodgers killer, Helton left town with one hit in 13 trips and having struck out seven times.
Kershaw allowed only an infield hit on a bunt by Troy Tulowitzki in the first and a ground ball that second baseman Blake DeWitt knocked down but couldn't make a play on the runner.
Jimenez also allowed only two hits over seven innings before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. The only run against the Colorado starter came in the third, when DeWitt led off with a line drive double to right field and Jamey Carroll grounded a ball of Jiminez's glove and deflected past the Colorado second baseman and into right field.
Jiminez walked four and struck out five, including major league batting leader Andre Ethier his first three times up. The right-hander, whose ERA only increased from 0.87 to 0.93, was trying to become the first Rockies pitcher to get off to a 7-0 start.
Russell Martin gave the Dodgers a bit of breathing room with his third home run of the season, a shot into the left field seats in the eighth inning.
The 40,000+ Dodgers fans anticipated disaster in the first inning when Kershaw walked Dexter Fowler with one out and with two out, gave up a bunt single to Tulowitzki before walking Ryan Spillsborgh to load the bases.
They gave a sigh of relief when Kershaw fanned Ian Stewart to end the inning.
Kershaw needed 30 pitches to get out of the inning, then didn't allow more than 15 in any inning, finishing his work with 117 pitches and an excellent 73 of them for strikes. He didn't allow a Colorado a ball out of the infield until the eighth or a leadoff man to reach base.
Tulowitzki left the game in the bottom of the fifth with a right quad strain after pulling a quad taking a throw from Jimenez on a fielder's choice comebacker by Carroll and trying to complete a double play.
Padilla Out Until June
Dodgers won't get opening day starter Vicente Padilla back until June. Padilla threw lightly Sunday at Dodger Stadium but is not expected back until June when rehab starts are factored in, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.
Padilla went on the disabled list with right elbow soreness on April 25 after his fourth start on April 22. Padilla is 1-1 with a 6.65 ERA.
Rookie John Ely, who was sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday, could get a second start Tuesday if starter Charlie Haeger goes on the disabled list with what is described as a bruised heel.
Haeger is out of options and would need to clear waivers to be sent to the Minor Leagues. Torre said he did not know if Haeger would travel with the team to Arizona.
Draft Rule Changes
The 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft will take place over three days this year, beginning on Monday, June 7 and concluding Wednesday, June 9. This year, Hall of Fame Manager and Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda will be representing the Dodgers along with Senior Advisor, Dominican Republic, Ralph Avila. The duo will be at the MLB Studios in Secaucus, NJ.
Pink Suits Them
The Dodgers wore pink ribbons on their uniforms and some will swing pink bats in support of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, an organization that raises money to fight breast cancer.
This is the fifth year that Major League Baseball and Louisville Slugger have teamed with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and together they have raised more than $1 million. More than 250 players have committed to using the pink bats for cancer research.
The Dodgers swinging pink bats were Manny Ramirez, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin (who homered), James Loney, Casey Blake, Reed Johnson, Garret Anderson and Ronnie Belliard.
Since 2000, the Dodgers are 6-5 on Mother's Day, but had lost the last two. Over that time, five of those games have been played at Dodger Stadium, including the last three.
It was also Mother's Appreciation Day at Dodger Stadium and the Dodgers' My Town section was turned into Dodgertown, Mothers. Fans who bought seats in the section received pink Dodgertown, Mothers t-shirts and a special all-you-can-eat menu.
$2 from every ticket sold in the section will go to ThinkCure!, the Dodgers' official charity, which supports collaborative research at City of Hope and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles in search of a cure for cancer.
After the game, mothers and their families were able to walk around the warning track as part of a Mother's Day Walk in the Park.
Score by innings Colorado 000 000 000-0 Los Angeles 001 000 01x-2 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Martin c 4 1 1 1 .252 Kemp cf 3 0 0 0 .278 Ethier rf 3 0 0 0 .363 Ramirez lf 1 0 0 0 .391 Loney 1b 3 0 0 0 .241 Blake 3b 1 0 0 0 .304 DeWitt 2b 3 1 1 0 .255 Carroll ss 3 0 1 1 .268 Kershaw p 2 0 0 0 .000 Anderson ph 1 0 0 0 .125 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 -------------------------------- Totals 24 2 3 2 Colorado 29 0 4 0 Two-base hits- DeWitt (6). HR- Martin (3). RBI- Carroll (3), Martin (7). LOB- Los Angeles 3, Colorado 6, RISP- Los Angeles 1-for-1, Colorado 0-for-2. Pickoff- by Kershaw. CS- Ramirez (1), Kemp (7). Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Kershaw (2-2) 8.0 2 0-0 3 9 3.96 Broxton (sv 3) 1.0 2 0-0 0 1 1.54 HBP- Ramirez. T- 2:19 Att- 40,718.Dodger Blue Notes --The Dodgers took two of three from the Rockies and completed the third game in 2 hours and 19 minutes, the Dodgers' shortest game of the season. ...It as also the Dodgers first shut out of the year. Their last one came on October 3, 2009, when they clinched the NL West against the Rockies in a game Clayton Kershaw also started. ...Los Angeles improved to 16-5 overall and 9-3 at home against the Rockies since the start of the 2009 season. Kershaw picked off Eric Young to end the fifth inning for his team-leading second pick off of the season and his 11th career pick off. ...Manny Ramirez was caught stealing in the second inning in his first steal attempt since being thrown out on August 26, 2009 at Colorado, His last stolen base came on August 29, 2008 at Arizona. ...Ethier is already 21st all-time in L.A. Dodger history with 85 career home runs. He needs one more to catch Tommy Davis and move into the top 20.