Pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig slugged a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the seventh inning that sent the Los Angeles Dodgers past the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Wednesday night to increase their NL West lead to 2½ games.

Walker Buehler struck out a career-high 12 and the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the second-place Rockies, giving the defending NL champions their largest division lead this season. They outscored Colorado 16-6 in the series, with homers proving to be the difference in each game.

After falling into a 2-0 hole in a 36-pitch first inning, Buehler settled down and showed why he has become a dependable complement to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The rookie right-hander allowed three hits and one walk over six innings, and neither run he gave up was earned.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Puig’s second career pinch-hit homer came off Scott Oberg (7-1) and ignited the crowd and his teammates, some of whom came out in front of the dugout to cheer. On a recent tear at the plate, the excitable Puig raised both arms as he circled the bases.

The Dodgers showed off their depth in the seventh. After pinch-hitter Joc Pederson fouled out, Max Muncy drew a pinch-hit walk. Yasmani Grandal doubled to deep right field, moving Muncy to third and setting up Puig.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez dashes toward home plate to score on a double by Brian Dozier during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Caleb Ferguson (7-2) got two outs to earn the win. Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth for his 36th save.

Buehler gave up a two-run single to Ian Desmond in the first after the pitcher made a run-saving throw to the plate when Gerardo Parra grounded into a fielder’s choice.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Brian Dozier connects for an RBI double during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Matt Kemp homered on the first pitch from Tyler Anderson in the second, giving the Dodgers seven players with 20 or more homers in a season for the first time in franchise history. That left them trailing 2-1.

Brian Dozier’s RBI double tied the game 2-all in the fifth. Enrique Hernandez singled leading off and made a headfirst slide at the plate, with his feet barely eluding the tag of catcher Chris Iannetta.

Anderson gave up two runs and three hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked two.

Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl scores on a single hit by Ian Desmond during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: SS Trevor Story is receiving treatment for right elbow inflammation in Arizona, and the team is encouraged that he could return soon. Story might participate in some baseball activities at the club’s spring training facility in Phoenix, where the Rockies are headed next to play the Diamondbacks.

Colorado Rockies’ Ian Desmond connects for a two-run single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

UP NEXT

Rockies: Off on Thursday before sending RHP German Marquez (12-10, 3.96 ERA) to the mound against third-place Arizona.

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Dodgers: After an off day Thursday, LHP Rich Hill (9-5, 4.02) starts the opener of a three-game series against the last-place Padres.

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Source: The Associated Press