The Colorado Rockies picked up an impressive win to start their critical eight-game NL West road trip, defeating the Dodgers 9-1 in Los Angeles on Thursday. Colorado will play their next seven games against the two teams above them in the NL West and NL Wild Card standings.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw (16-3, 2.15 ERA) had another rocky outing, lasting just 3.2 innings and surrendering four runs on six hits and three walks. Kershaw has pitched just 11.2 innings since July 23 when he left a start against Atlanta with back tightness. The Colorado hitters attacked Kershaw early on Thursday, putting multiple runners on base in each of the first three innings. Nolan Arenado‘s three-run home run kickstarted the Rockies offense before Kershaw was even able to record an out. Jonathan Lucroy added a sacrifice fly in the third inning after Gerardo Parra led off the inning with a single and Trevor Story hit a ground-rule double.

Colorado was not much kinder to Brock Stewart in relief of Kershaw. They touched the right-hander for two runs on three hits over 1.1 innings. Edward Paredes and Josh Ravin combined for a miserable seventh inning for LA, surrendering three runs on four hits – including a leadoff home run by Carlos Gonzalez – and walking in a pair of runs between them.

Jon Gray (7-4, 4.07) was strong over six innings of work for Colorado, allowing just one earned run on four hits and two walks. He struck out three. Mike Dunn, Scott Oberg and Adam Ottavino each allowed a baserunner but no runs in an inning of relief apiece.

The loss is Los Angeles’ seventh in a row. The win moves Colorado to a full three games above Milwaukee and St. Louis for the final Wild Card spot behind Arizona. German Marquez (10-6, 4.26) faces Yu Darvish (8-11, 4.09) in the second game of the series on Friday.