DENVER — Clayton Kershaw became a 20-game winner against Colorado — the most victories any pitcher has ever recorded versus the franchise.

Know what that says?

“I pitched against them a lot,” he said.

Kershaw worked his way out of trouble time after time over seven solid innings, Chase Utley had a two-run triple as part of a five-run second and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the NL West-leading Rockies 6-2 on Friday night.

“The box score probably doesn’t tell the whole story. There was a lot of bad pitching,” Kershaw said while holding his young son. “I’ll take it tonight, though.”

Cody Bellinger added a solo homer in the eighth to help the Dodgers pull within 1 1/2 games of Colorado.

Kershaw (6-2) ran his record to 89-0 in the regular season when the Dodgers give him at least four runs of support. He also improved to 20-6 against the Rockies, surpassing fellow lefty Randy Johnson for most all-time wins against the team.

On a tranquil evening, Kershaw allowed two runs and seven hits, but worked his way out of trouble with the assistance of three double plays.

“It wasn’t pretty and nothing was great about it by any means,” Kershaw said of his outing. “Guys got some runs early for me. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take the win any day of the week.”

The Dodgers took advantage of an erratic Tyler Chatwood (3-5), who walked four and allowed five runs over 4 1/3 innings.

“You’ve got to throw the ball over the plate and if they beat you getting hits, you can live with that,” Chatwood said.

In the pivotal second, Los Angeles sent nine batters to the plate and drew three walks, all of which scored. Utley hustled for his second triple of the season and Corey Seager added a two-run double.

“Walks,” Chatwood lamented. “Walks are the thing that killed us.”

Those five early runs were more than enough for Kershaw, who doesn’t need much.

“It’s just a credit to him to get through that start with not having his best stuff,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

The Rockies might argue that point.

“We just don’t have too many opportunities against him and when we do he’s one of the toughest to come through on,” Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: Roberts sees INF Adrian Gonzalez (right elbow soreness) going on a rehab assignment next week to play two or three games. … The last time Roberts heard from OF Andre Ethier, his back was giving him some problems when he runs or bends over. “Physically, he’s just limited,” Roberts said. “If someone told me late June (for a return), I’d be very excited.”

Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (stress fracture in his left foot) has been cleared to step out of his boot for an hour a day. Soon, he will start running/walking in the pool to strengthen the foot. “Slowly transitioning out of it,” he said. “Hopefully, it doesn’t take three or four weeks.” … C Tony Wolters (concussion) went 0 for 3 and caught six innings in his first rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque.

ROSTER MOVE

RHP Jeff Hoffman was optioned to Albuquerque after picking up his first major league win Thursday. The team recalled OF Raimel Tapia, who entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth and walked.

BELTING BELLINGER

Bellinger hit his seventh homer and leads the team despite only playing 16 games.

“I keep trying to find days to give him a blow, but it’s hard to omit him from the lineup,” Roberts said.

THIS & THAT

Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez finished with two hits and an RBI. … OF Charlie Blackmon hit his sixth triple. All of them have been at Coors Field. … With his double in the eighth, Dodgers C Yasmani Grandal has an extra-base hit in five straight games.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (3-0, 2.73 ERA) has struck out 38 and walked 10 in 29 2/3 innings this season.

Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (2-3, 6.69 ERA) had his start pushed back to Saturday because of inflammation in his left knee. He will wear a protective brace.


More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball