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Buehler strikes out 11, Dodgers beat Rox 5-1 for 20th win

Walker Buehler struck out 11 over six sharp innings in his best outing of the shortened season, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers past the slumping Colorado Rockies 5-1 on Friday night.

The Dodgers (20-8) earned their ninth victory in 10 games and became the first team in the majors to win 20 this season. Every player in the Los Angeles lineup got a hit except Austin Barnes, although the catcher had an RBI with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Buehler (1-0) gave up four hits on 92 pitches in his fifth start of the season and didn't issue a walk in going past five innings for the first time. The right-hander was coming off his worst outing of the year. He gave up five runs (four earned) and six hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Angels last weekend.

Los Angeles Dodgers' A.J. Pollock, center, beats the throw to Colorado Rockies catcher Drew Butera, right, on a single by Matt Beaty during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. (AP PhotoAlex Gallardo)

But on this night Buehler turned a corner, challenging hitters and putting the ball in good spots. He retired the first 11 batters he faced. Charlie Blackmon, the majors’ leading hitter at .420, ripped a two-out single to center field in the fourth for the Rockies’ first hit.

Buehler gave up three consecutive singles to right by Drew Butera, Raimel Tapia and Trevor Story in the sixth. Story's shallow hit scored Butera for the Rockies' lone run. Buehler then got Blackmon on a swinging strikeout before Joc Pederson's running catch into the lower wall in right ended the inning and prevented the potential tying runs from scoring.

After an impressive start, the Rockies have lost a season-high five straight and 10 of 12 while dropping to .500. Jon Gray (1-3) gave up four runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander had two walks and no strikeouts.

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray throws to the plate against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. (AP PhotoAlex Gallardo)

Cody Bellinger's RBI double in the first gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Los Angeles added three runs in the fourth on Matt Beaty's RBI single and Corey Seager's two-run double down the right-field line.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Joc Pederson catches a fly ball hit by Colorado Rockies' Raimel Tapia during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. (AP PhotoAlex Gallardo)

Rockies: RHP Joe Harvey went on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow sprain.

Dodgers: C Will Smith (neck inflammation) had four at-bats and did some catching at the team's alternate training site. He'll do more of the same on Saturday and if all goes well, return to the lineup Sunday.

REMEMBERING KOBE

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray, left, looks back at the scoreboard after being pulled by manager Bud Black, right, with catcher Drew Butera looking on during the fourth inning of a baseball game Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. (AP PhotoAlex Gallardo)

The Dodgers will honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant during pregame ceremonies Sunday, which would have been Bryant's 42nd birthday. He and his daughter were killed in a helicopter crash in January. Fans aren't allowed at Dodger Stadium, but they can watch on the team's SportsNet LA channel.

UP NEXT

Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (2-1, 2.56 ERA) has recorded a quality start in each of his first five starts, tied for the second-longest streak to begin a season in franchise history.

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, top, makes the relay throw to first over Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger at second base to get Max Muncy at first for a double play during the third inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. (AP PhotoAlex Gallardo)

Dodgers: RHP Dustin May (1-1, 3.00) has faced the Rockies once. He threw a scoreless inning of relief last September.

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