Puig and the visiting Dodgers look to keep rolling while Cuddyer tries to extend the longest hitting streak in franchise history Tuesday night.
Los Angeles (38-43) enters this three-game set seeking a ninth win in 10 games after beating Philadelphia 6-1 on Sunday. Puig led the way again, going 4 for 5 with a double, a triple, two runs and two stolen bases.
The 22-year-old Cuban defector has gone a major league-best 44 for 101 (.436) with seven homers, 16 RBIs and 19 runs in 26 games since getting called up June 3.
"Puig's definitely brought an energy and a spark to us, and his skill level, I think, is a little more than anybody anticipated it would be," Sunday's winning pitcher Stephen Fife said. "It's been a pretty historic start."
Puig's hit total in June ranks second all-time in a player's first full calendar month behind only New York Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio 's 48 in May 1936. Puig also broke Steve Sax 's team record for hits in any month, set in August 1983.
"I'm really excited to be put on that list," Puig told MLB's official website through an interpreter. "But I'm more excited that the team is winning."
After a disappointing first 2 1/2 months, the Dodgers now find themselves well within striking distance of NL West-leading Arizona.
"We've kind of got ourselves back to respectability here," manager Don Mattingly said. "We can see the front of the pack. Now we have to go take care of business and continue to win at a high rate."
Slowing down Cuddyer could prove crucial if the Dodgers hope to see their momentum carry over. The veteran outfielder singled and scored in the eighth inning in Sunday's 5-2 loss to San Francisco, extending his hitting streak to 27 games.
Cuddyer, who's batting .372 with six homers and 19 RBIs during that run, has also reached base safely in a franchise-record 46 straight games.
"It's been fun watching him do this," manager Walt Weiss said. "It's nice to see him get some recognition. He's a great player."
Cuddyer is 2 for 6 against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (6-5, 2.08 ERA), who's looking to build on his first win in over a month. The left-hander allowed two runs and four hits in eight-plus innings in Wednesday's 4-2 victory over the Giants.
"I had better fastball command tonight than I had in the past," he said. "There's some little things to work on here and there. But overall, it was better tonight for sure."
Kershaw is 6-1 with a 2.96 ERA in his last 15 starts in the series, but he's 0-1 with a 5.01 ERA in his last five at Coors Field.
The Rockies (41-42) counter with Roy Oswalt , who's gone 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA since debuting June 20. He yielded five runs and nine hits in six innings Wednesday in a 5-3 loss at Boston.
Weiss, though, likes what he's seen from the 35-year-old right-hander.
"It's very evident that there's still a lot left with him," Weiss said. "In the two outings that he's had for us, still a lot of life in the arm, the ability to make pitches. It's all there."
Oswalt is 5-1 with a 2.05 ERA in his last seven starts against the Dodgers, but he hasn't faced them since 2011. While Matt Kemp is 1 for 11 with four strikeouts in their matchups, Hanley Ramirez is 11 for 30 with three homers and three doubles.
Ramirez is batting .477 with five homers and 15 RBIs over a 13-game stretch.
|Jerry Hairston Jr.||12||.167||2||0||0||0||0||.167||.417||.250|
|Jorge De La Rosa||2||.000||0||0||0||0||2||.000||.000||.000|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|June 12, 2013||Yasiel Puig||Day-to-Day||Strained shoulder|
|June 11, 2013||Scott Van Slyke||15-Day DL||Left shoulder bursitis|
|June 11, 2013||Scott Van Slyke||15-Day DL||Left shoulder bursitis|
|June 08, 2013||Ted Lilly||Day-to-Day||Neck discomfort|
|June 07, 2013||Hanley Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 05, 2013||Ted Lilly||15-Day DL||Neck sprain|
|June 29, 2013||Jorge De La Rosa||Day-to-Day||Left game - left thumb|
|June 23, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left game - leg cramps|
|June 14, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||15-Day DL||Fractured rib, right ribcage|
|June 13, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||Day-to-Day||Broken rib|
|June 13, 2013||Dexter Fowler||Day-to-Day||Hand|
|June 13, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Bruised left foot|
DENVER (AP) -- For one night, the conversation wasn't all about rookie sensation Yasiel Puig .
Granted, the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder did have another stellar game, which is pretty much the standard these days. But Clayton Kershaw accomplished what few have been able to do lately - he stole some of Puig's spotlight.
Kershaw tossed a four-hitter for his second shutout of the season as the Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 8-0 on Tuesday.
"He had everything working," manager Don Mattingly said of his ace.
Kershaw (7-5) kept the Rockies off balance all night, even top hitter Michael Cuddyer , who had his franchise-record 27-game hitting streak halted after going hitless in four plate appearances. Cuddyer flied out to Puig in right to end the game.
"If it was going to end, might as well end against the best pitcher in the league," Cuddyer said. "He pitched really well. He was tough tonight."
So tough that he allowed just one runner to get to second all evening. The hard-throwing Kershaw had eight strikeouts and walked none.
"I had pretty good fastball command tonight," he nonchalantly said.
Asked about the offense and his face lit up as he pedaled on the exercise bike after the game.
"It's awesome," Kershaw said. "It's a tough lineup right now to get through. Puig's on another planet. You keep thinking he can't keep this up, not just singles, he's been hitting the ball really hard everywhere. I've been really, really impressed."
It's hard not to be. The 22-year-old Puig had three more hits, including a solo homer, to raise his average to .443 this season.
"Whatever league that I'm in I'm going to do the best I can," he said through a translator. "I'm going to play wherever they ask me to play."
Roy Oswalt (0-3) was roughed up in his first start at Coors Field this season. He allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings. Part of that, he explained, had to do with simply being too fine.
"Trying to throw that nine-inning shutout with 70 pitches, instead of being aggressive like I've always been," Oswalt said.
Adrian Gonzalez broke open the game with a two-run homer in the third and Juan Uribe added a pair of RBI singles. Hanley Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the second.
Kershaw found himself in a rather unfamiliar position - with a big early lead. He entered the game with the second-lowest run support of any NL starter.
But the Dodgers gave Kershaw an early four-run cushion, more than enough for him. It was Kershaw's third complete game of the season and second shutout. He held the San Francisco Giants without a run in his first start of the season on April 1.
Kershaw might have had the play of the game against the Rockies - or at least the most comical - when he lost his glove trying to field a bunt.
No matter, he picked it up barehanded and threw out Josh Rutledge .
"He had his `A' game, no question," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It was going to be tough to score off of him. He was at the top of his game and when he is, you have to scratch and claw for everything."
The fans showed up early to watch Puig send one monster shot after another into the stands during batting practice.
Puig was even more impressive once the game began.
These days, it's hard not to take notice of Puig. His 44 hits in June were a Dodgers rookie record for a month.
He carried it over into July with a single in the first and a double off the right-field scoreboard in the third. After taking a called third strike, Puig sent a pitch from reliever Adam Ottavino over the fence in the deepest part of the park for his eighth homer this season.
Puig wasn't done there. He also made a running catch in foul territory, veering right for the seats before suddenly turning to avoid a collision. He then trotted into the dugout as if it were just another routine play.
"Exciting player. Big guy with a lot of athleticism," Weiss said before the game. "Brought a lot of excitement to that club."
The same can be said of Cuddyer, who failed to get a hit for the first time since May 27. His streak was the longest in the majors this season.
Cuddyer didn't reach base, either, bringing his streak of 46 straight games with a hit, walk or being plunked by a pitch to an end.
"I'm proud of (the streak)," Cuddyer said. "It's a long time, longer than I've ever gone."
His first order of business now that it's over?
"Definitely going to get a haircut," said Cuddyer, who also grew a scruffy beard.
Cuddyer couldn't even begin to fathom hitting in 56 straight like Joe DiMaggio .
"That's ridiculous," he said. "It's one of those records, for me, that's unattainable.
"You just enjoy the ride as long as you can."
NOTES: The Dodgers acquired former All-Star reliever Carlos Marmol from the Chicago Cubs for RHP Matt Guerrier . ... Colorado placed OF Dexter Fowler (bruised right hand) on the 15-day disabled list. The move is retroactive to June 26. ... Backup catcher Yorvit Torrealba had two hits off Kershaw.