DENVER — Clayton Kershaw won’t give much away, so when he does, a lineup must be ready to pounce.
The Rockies did just that Saturday, hanging five on the future Hall of Famer, three earned, en route to a 5-3 win over the Dodgers.
Their own southpaw, Kyle Freeland, out-dueled Kershaw tossing six innings of his own and allowing just three earned runs along with six strikeouts. He sat down four in a row on strikes between the start of the fifth frame and into the sixth.
“Being able to match up against a guy like (Clayton Kershaw) is fun,” Freeland said. “Getting wins against the Dodgers is always great.
"I wanted to keep the momentum I had and roll with what I had. Me and (Elias) were on the same page all night, he did a great job."
The quality start came on the heels of two, less-than-stellar outings against the Dodgers earlier this year. He allowed nine earned runs in 9⅓ innings before Saturday’s win.
To top off the outing, Randal Grichuk made a sprinting snag for the final out of his night — the lefty let out his remaining energy with a shout and raised arms for the standout play.
“I knew it was in the gap, so I just took off and ran,” Grichuk said. “I think (the reaction) is what makes those plays. When your pitcher shows some emotion and you see what it means to them, and they're in it with you, it makes it all worth it.”
The outfielder compounded his efforts with a two-run triple in the sixth to give the Rockies a 4-3 lead before backstop Elias Díaz drove him in as well.
It was only right that the day's big news, Daniel Bard, fresh off a two-year extension, was called upon to finish the bullpen's shutout effort.
After the fourth inning, including the closer's empty frame, the Dodgers got just one hit against Freeland and three Rockies relievers.
"Kyle pitches with a lot of spirit," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I think all the players who play with Kyle understand when he takes the mound, it's not just about that game. It's about the four days in between — the four days he's a teammate and pulling for all the other guys.
"When it's his day, they know he's fighting hard."
A sellout crowd, the club's sixth of the year, saw as much. A chance to split a four-game series with the Dodgers awaits.
Before the win over the Dodgers, the Rockies called up Jordan Sheffield from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned Ryan Feltner Saturday.
He was on the major-league roster once before this season but didn't appear in a game during his limited stint. For the Isotopes, he allowed 21 earned runs in 14⅔ innings before being called up.
Sheffield wasn't among the three relievers called upon to shut out Saturday's win.