Rockies hit 96 losses for first time in franchise history

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With a punchless lineup that featured Jordan Pacheco hitting third and rookie catcher Wilin Rosario batting cleanup, the Rockies fell 3-0 to the Dodgers on Saturday night in Los Angeles.

Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood yielded only two earned runs but was pulled after needing 76 pitches to get through four innings. The bullpen fared better but would get no run support from the offense.

It was Colorado’s 96th loss of the year, a franchise record, and it marked the second time this season that the Rox were blanked in consecutive games.

The Rockies’ staff ERA is an MLB-worst 5.24. And while the offense has scored plenty of runs, the production has come in inconsistent doses. It doesn’t help that Troy Tulowitzki (groin) has played in only 47 games.

Colorado will wrap up its weekend series with the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon, then it’s off to Arizona for the final three games of the regular season. Expect some major shake-up in Denver this winter.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.