September 20, 2018 / 5:44 AM / in 2 months

Buehler, Puig help Dodgers sweep Rockies

EditorsNote: 2nd update: changes Ferguson’s record to 7-2 sted 7-3

Walker Buehler struck out a career-high 12 batters, and Yasiel Puig hit a pinch-hit three-run home run in the seventh inning as the Dodgers widened their lead in the National League West with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Colorado Rockies.

The victory finished off the Dodgers’ three-game sweep of the Rockies after entering the series in second place, a half-game behind Colorado. They went 12-7 against the Rockies this season and now lead the division by 2 1/2 games, their largest advantage at any point this year.

The Dodgers (85-68), who were nine games out of the division lead on May 9, have won seven of their past eight games. The Rockies (82-70) have lost five of their last six games and are 1 1/2 games out of the NL’s second wild-card spot.

Puig was not in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game because of his struggles against left-handed pitching and the Rockies going with lefty Tyler Anderson. But Puig came on as a pinch hitter in the seventh and crushed an 0-1 offering from right-hander Scott Oberg (7-1) with two aboard. It was his 22nd of the season.

Buehler had nine strikeouts three times over his previous five starts, including Friday at St. Louis when he went eight scoreless innings. The right-hander reached double digits for the first time in his career when he retired DJ LeMahieu looking in the fifth inning.

Buehler almost failed to make it out of the first inning, loading the bases three batters into the game. After he gave up a two-run single to Ian Desmond with two outs, Dodgers left-hander Zac Rosscup started warming up in the bullpen.

Buehler settled down to give up just one more hit the rest of the way. Both of his runs allowed were unearned, due to a throwing error by third baseman Justin Turner, and he gave up just one walk while throwing 101 pitches over six innings.

Anderson gave up just one hit over the first four innings, but it was a solo home run by Matt Kemp, his 20th on the season. The home run gave the Dodgers a National League-record seven players with 20 home runs this season, and they actually have nine players on the roster with 20 when counting trade acquisitions Manny Machado and Brian Dozier.

Anderson gave up two runs on three hits over six innings with two walks and four strikeouts.

Caleb Ferguson (7-2) picked up the victory for the Dodgers after recording two outs in the seventh inning. Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 36th save.

—Field Level Media

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