Max Muncy comes in on a sack as the Dodgers win on running back Clayton Kershaw
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Max Muncy comes in on a sack as the Dodgers win on running back Clayton Kershaw

Max Muncie of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates in the dugout with Mookie Betts (50) after hitting a touchdown.
Max Muncie celebrates in the dugout with Mookie Betts after he hit a solo home run in the seventh in the Dodgers’ 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium Thursday night. (Ryan Sun / Associated Press)

Clayton Kershaw has a history of minimizing injuries—it’s not in his DNA to acknowledge a potential weak point—so the Dodgers left fielder was totally in character when he undercut the “annoying” shoulder strain that forced him out of a June 27 game in Colorado after throwing a 79. He pitched only six innings with one strikeout.

“Right now, I don’t think it’s very serious,” Kershaw said on that steamy 90-degree evening at Coors Field. “I don’t think I’ll miss the start.”

Six weeks filled with frustration, countless games, many hitting sessions, and simulated games later, Kershaw finally got back to the big league mound Thursday night and picked up where he left off, giving up one run, three hits, and striking out. of four and not walked in five solid innings against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

Recently acquired left-hander Ryan Yarbrough replaced Kershaw and the Rockies hit one with four hits for three innings, and the Dodgers rallied for a 2-1 win on Max Muncie’s single in the seventh and a bases-loaded walk in the eighth.

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Brusdar Graterol retired the team up in the ninth for his fifth save as the Dodgers (68-46) extended their winning streak to five and won for the ninth time in 10 games.

The score was tied 1-1 when David Peralta, who won the game Wednesday night in Arizona with a two-paw, two-run home run in the eighth inning drove off the bottom of the eighth with reliever Tommy Doyle out.

Peralta was erased on fielder Jason Heyward’s pick, but Mookie Betts lined a single to right center field to advance Heyward to third. Colorado manager Bad Black replaced Doyle with right fielder Daniel Bard, who walked Freddie Freeman to load the bases with another.

Will Smith followed that up with a bunt to left-center field, but Ezequiel Tovar Roque raced back and made a terrific over-the-shoulder catch for the second out. Muncy then took a 3rd-and-1 sinker and entered for the fourth, forcing Heyward to home a run that gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers during the first inning at Dodger Stadium.

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers during the first inning of a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rockies Thursday night at Dodger Stadium. (Ryan Sun / Associated Press)

Rockies left-hander Ty Blach, a specialist at sinker with an unorthodox, fast delivery, sank the Dodgers with two hits through six innings before sliding a full count up and into Muncy, who hit a towering homer to right field—his 28th of the season— To drive to the tail of the seventh, tying the score at 1-1.

Black Blach pulled in favor of Doyle, who gave up a single to Chris Taylor, but a stellar play by Rocky’s second baseman Alan Trejo helped stifle the Dodgers’ career.

With Taylor running on an 0-and-2 pitch, Kiké Hernández hit 104 mph in the middle as Trejo dived, grabbing a backhand as his body crossed the second base bag. But Trejo hooked the sack to his toe, got up and shot on first for a double play that was backed up after an instant restart. Then James Ottman struck out to end the inning.

Kershaw scraps a Rockies lineup that’s been hollowed out by CJ Cron and Randal Grichuk leaving the trade deadline on two-strokes through four innings, chugging a 74-mph curve and Iliuris Montero looking at a rare 85-mph changeup to finish second and sack the batter in the order in the fourth.

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He needed just four pitches to back off Trejo and Toglia on ground balls for the first two innings of the fifth, but he left an 85-mph slider up and onto the outside half of the plate for Montero, who pushed it 396 feet to left center. A fielding winger for his fourth homer of the season and a 1-0 Colorado lead.

The Dodgers threatened in the bottom of the first inning when Freeman hit his 43rd leadoff double to right with one out and Amed Rosario followed with a hard single to left.

But Freeman didn’t make a big jump after taking his leadoff secondary off second base and having to hold out on third. Muncey then grounded sharply to first base, where Tuglia gloved the ball and hit to second to begin a double play at the end of the inning.

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This story originally appeared Los Angeles Times.

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