SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw and star outfielder Matt Kemp shook off their early-spring blues on Sunday afternoon.
Kershaw entered his start against the Rockies with a 9.00 ERA, but dominated to the tune of one unearned run and two hits in five innings and Kemp ended an 0-for-11 rut with two hits in the Dodgers' 6-1 victory at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
"It was better," Kershaw said, comparing this start to the previous one, when he allowed four runs in three innings. "I'm still not throwing a lot of breaking balls for strikes. I'm getting behind in counts, and that's not great. I still walked three guys. But it was a little more encouraging."
The Rockies' Jeff Francis extended his scoreless spring to 13 innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth, managing just one out through five batters before leaving the game. He ended up being charged with four earned runs on six hits, with two strikeouts and two walks.
The Dodgers scored six times in the fifth, with the big hit being Juan Uribe's three-run homer off reliever Parker Frazier.
The Rockies' Dexter Fowler popped an opposite-field single to right against Kershaw to open the bottom of the first, and moved to third on productive outs by Josh Rutledge and Michael Cuddyer. Dodgers third baseman Elian Herrera then committed an error on Wilin Rosario's bouncer, allowing Fowler to score.
Kershaw dominated from there. The only other hit against him was Minor League first baseman Henry Wrigley's single with two outs in the second inning. Kershaw finished with nine groundouts and two strikeouts, against three walks.
Francis was cruising before the fifth inning. He didn't face more than one baserunner in the first four innings. After a leadoff walk to Kemp in the fourth, Francis forced Uribe into a double-play grounder.
Up next: Zack Greinke is scheduled to start Sunday's 1:05 p.m. PT road matchup against his former Milwaukee Brewers teammates and be followed by Hyun-Jin Ryu. Greinke, who missed a bullpen with elbow discomfort and a start with the flu, will be on 10 days' rest. Ryu showed improvement in his most recent outing after an uneven couple of appearances.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.