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Paper Planes Crash on Dodger Stadium

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It was a strange night at Dodger Stadium. Never mind the Dodgers lost to the Colorado Rockies 3-0, only the fourth loss in their last 20 games. Never mind they only had four hits, their first single-digit hits over the last five games.

But as the game ground to a crawl in the late innings, each pitch taking on more importance on both sides, the scene throughout the stadium began to resemble the opening scene of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" video.

As the crowd of 50,796 got more and more restless, they decided to make their own entertainment, to give themselves something to cheer for as plane after plane get tantalyzingly close to touch the field.

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Perhaps the strangest sight was what was going on with Clayton Kershaw the first time through the order. He didn't look right. Dexter Fowler led off the game with a single, stole second and took third on D.J. LeMahieu's single.

After Carlos Gonzalez struck out looking, Troy Tulowitzki hit a sacrifice fly to score Fowler and Wilin Rosario hit a single that scored LeMahieu.

Kershaw was able to get out of the first inning, but the second inning didn't start well with Charlie Blackmon fighting off Kershaw for 12 pitches that culminated in a double.

From that point on, Kershaw regained his usual form.

Kershaw didn't attribute the turnaround to any changes he made on the mound. Manager Don Mattingly theorized that

"They just put some good at-bats on me," Kershaw said. "It happens sometimes. They just battled."

For all of the damage the Rockies tried to do, Kershaw did limit them to only three runs in seven innings despite needing 48 pitches to get out of the first two innings. Kershaw struck out 10 marking the third time this season he accomplished this feat.

The offense was halted in their tracks by Rockies starter Juan Nicasio who limited the Dodgers to only three hits in his seven innings of work.

"He did a nice job of getting ahead of the count," Mattingly said. "He's a guy who's effectively wild and throws enough strikes and is always around the zone. It's kind of hard to dial in."

It was so difficult, that in the fourth inning Adrian Gonzalez decided to lead off to bunt against the shift. He bunted the first two pitches foul down the third base line before being forced to swing normally. Gonzalez is not a stranger to this tactic having gone 8-for-11 with four sacrifices in his career when bunting.

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It didn't work this time. Gonzalez struck out swinging.

The Dodgers took Yasiel Puig out of the game in the top of the fifth inning after he ran gingerly to first base in his two at-bats. The Dodgers called the removal a "precautionary reason", the second consecutive game he was taken out.

"It's pretty much the same," Mattingly said. "He thought he could go. Obviously it wasn't good enough for the game."

Puig had a brighter outlook. "It feels a lot better today," he said. "But there are a lot of games left to be played this season. That's why they took me out for precautionary reasons."

Obviously Puig wants to remain in the lineup, but the future is a bit murky on this.

"We'll just see when we get here tomorrow," Mattingly said. "If he's healthy he plays."

But Mattingly emphasized that he didn't want to play with a short bench. "If you can't play, you can't play. There's no shame in that."

With the Arizona Diamondbacks beating the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1, the Dodgers fall to 2 1/2 games back in the division. They are back at .500. But Mattingly wasn't worried they returned to their early season ways.

"It's just one game."

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