Clayton Kershaw threw six scoreless innings and Cody Bellinger hit a three-run home run as the Los Angeles Dodgers rolled to a 10-1 victory over the visiting Colorado Rockies in the opener of the final regular-season series for both teams.
Before the game was complete, the Dodgers (109-48) had secured the best record in the major leagues when the Houston Astros (102-55) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Dodgers will have the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, including a potential Game 7 of the World Series.
Kershaw (11-3), in his penultimate start of the regular season, gave up just five hits and two walks while striking out four. He is scheduled to also start the season finale on Wednesday against the Rockies. Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor each had three hits for Los Angeles in the opener of a six-game set.
Rockies starter Chad Kuhl (6-11) gave up six runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings as Colorado (65-92) lost for the 10th time in its past 11 games.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Taylor singled with one out and scored from first base on a two-out double to left-center by Betts.
Bellinger’s three-run shot came in an eight-run fourth inning. With no outs, following singles from Gavin Lux and Taylor, Bellinger cleared the wall in right field, his 18th homer of the season. It was his first home run since Aug. 21, ending a drought of 30 games.
Will Smith, Max Muncy and Trayce Thompson added RBI hits in the fourth inning, Taylor capped the rally with a two-run single. The eight runs in the fourth, on eight hits, represented a season high in an inning for the Dodgers.
Kershaw, expected to be the Dodgers’ No. 1 or 2 starter when the team opens the playoffs, won his fourth consecutive start. He has a 1.50 ERA in six outings since returning from a back injury on Sept. 1.
Los Angeles’ Yency Almonte and David Price each pitched a scoreless inning before infielder Hanser Alberto gave up a run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Elias Diaz.
Brendan Rodgers had three of Colorado’s seven hits.