Kershaw, Dodgers beat Rockies 6-1 for 111th victory
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a season of gaudy numbers, two sets stand out for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
They finished with their 111th victory to become the National League's winningest team in more than a century, and Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner each totaled 100 RBIs.
“This team's in elite company for the regular season,” manager Dave Roberts said after a 6-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. “But we still know the most important part of the season is yet to come.”
At 111-51, the Dodgers ended the regular season 60 games over .500.
“Winning 100 games is crazy. The fact that we won 111 is wild. It’s really hard to do,” Turner said. “We just kind of kept chugging along.”
Clayton Kershaw tuned up for the postseason with nine strikeouts. Turner hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth inning for the NL West champions, who became the NL's winningest team since the 1906 Chicago Cubs went 116-36.
“It is mindboggling,” said Freeman, who joined the Dodgers in March from Atlanta. “You got to be good from start to finish.”
Kershaw reached 2,807 career strikeouts. He allowed one run and one hit in five innings and walked one as the Dodgers ended a three-game skid.
“We all were rooting for Freddie to get to that 100-RBI mark, the same with Trea,” Kershaw said.
The Dodgers have already clinched the overall No. 1 seed in the postseason and will have home-field advantage throughout. They open the Division Series on Oct. 11 against the New York Mets or San Diego.
“The first tournament’s over. Now the big tournament starts,” Freeman said. “No one cares what your numbers were, how many wins you had. Starting Tuesday, it’s first one to 11.”
The Rockies were held to two hits for the fourth time this season and finished 68-94, equaling their most losses since 2015. They were even worse than their mark of 74-87 in 2021.
There was drama within an otherwise meaningless game.
Freeman made a run at overtaking Jeff McNeil of the New York Mets for the NL batting title. Needing to go 4 for 4 to catch McNeil, Freeman doubled and homered in his first two at-bats, but a flyout to the warning track in center field in the fifth ended his hopes.
Freeman hit .325 for the season, McNeil finished at .326 after not starting the Mets' rain-delayed finale against Washington.
“I was close,” Freeman said. “I gave it a run.”
Freeman finished with 199 hits. He and Turner became the first Dodgers teammates to reach 100 RBIs since Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp in 2009.
“Counting stats are kind of overlooked now because everyone is about efficiency, but you got to play every day to get some of those counting numbers,” Turner said. “You got to be healthy, you got to grind it out all year long, up, down, night game to day game, whatever it may be. Those kind of stats are still important to me and I know Freddie likes them as well.”
Freeman's 393-foot drive to left tied the game 1-all with two outs in the third. He singled in a run in the seventh.
Turner's three-run shot to right-center chased Chad Smith (0-1) and gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. It snapped an 0-for-5 skid for Turner, who added a single in the seventh to boost a batting average that had dropped in recent weeks.
Cody Bellinger added a solo shot leading off the seventh against Noah Davis, who was making his major league debut.
Colorado's Ezequiel Tovar hit his first major league homer with two outs in the second.
Dodgers: OF Chris Taylor (neck) worked in the batting cage. “I'm expecting him to be on the postseason roster,” Roberts said. ... RHP Blake Treinen (right shoulder tightness) and RHP Dustin May (lower back tightness) had simulated games. Treinen faced three hitters and will do so again in a few days. May threw two up-and-down innings and Roberts called it “very encouraging.”
THROUGH THE TURNSTILES
The Dodgers drew 3,861,092 fans at home this season, second-highest in team history. Only the 3,974,309 in 2019 was better, in the last season before COVID-19 restrictions were in place.
Rockies: Open spring training against Arizona on Feb. 25.
Dodgers: Have five days off before the Division Series at home Tuesday against either the New York Mets or San Diego Padres.