On paper, it looked like the biggest mismatch since Rocky Balboa took on Apollo Creed.

There was no way recently demoted Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio could stand toe-to-toe with the streaking Dodgers and outpitch ace Clayton Kershaw.

But that's exactly what transpired Friday night at Chavez Ravine as the Rockies defeated the Dodgers 3-0. Colorado halted the Dodgers' five-game winning streak and handed them just their third loss in the last 16 games.

Nicasio was brilliant, allowing no runs on three hits, walking one and hitting a batter. Pitching low in the strike zone, his fastball touching 95 mph, he reached the seventh inning for the first time this season.
“That was a clutch performance by Juan, to shut down a team like that when they are rolling was very impressive,” manager Walt Weiss said. “His fastball was working and his changeup was great tonight; probably the best changeup he's had all year.”

Relievers Rex Brothers and Rafael Betancourt preserved the Rockies' shutout, their fourth of the season and first since May 24 when they beat the Giants in San Francisco.”

Brothers gave up a walk to Nick Punto in the eighth, but induced Jerry Hairston into a double-play grounder and then struck out Scott Van Slyke. In the ninth, Betancourt gave up a leadoff single to Adrian Gonzalez before getting three flyball outs to record his 14th save.

After getting blown out at Boston on June 25 – seven runs allowed on 12 hits in a scant 2 1/3 innings – Nicasio was demoted to Triple-A. At the time, it appeared he was in for a lengthy stay, but when veteran Roy Oswalt injured his hamstring, Nicasio was called back up.

"I think just tried to make things more simple and work on my fastball," Nicasio said of his two-game stint with the Sky Sox in which he was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA.