Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch against the National on Friday… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
Clayton Kershaw has spoiled you. Spoiled you to the core, spoiled you with a silver spoon that delivers only victories and strikeouts and Cy Youngs.
He was back at it Friday night, back winning, leading the Dodgers to a 3-2 victory over the Nationals before an announced crowd of 44,807 at Dodger Stadium.
With Andre Ethier leading the offense with a two-run homer, Kershaw won his 10th consecutive game overall and second this season.
In addition, he has now won 12 consecutive games at Dodger Stadium, matching Ed Roebuck and Orel Hershiser for the longest home winning streak in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
On this Friday, the Dodgers were all about the good start.
Kershaw started it off by striking out the side in the top of the first. Then the Dodgers quickly struck for two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Which included, naturally enough, their Big Two.
Matt Kemp’s two-out single off Washington’s Ross Detwiler– the first hit he’d allowed to a No.3 hitter this season – preceded Ethier’s two-run homer into the Nationals’ bullpen. It was Ethier’s first home run of the season off a left-hander, though half of his major-league best 24 RBI have been hit against lefties. He has five homers on the year.
The Dodgers added one more in the fourth, with once again Kemp and Ethier going to work, this time both with singles. Jerry Hairston Jr.’s bunt sacrificed them to second and third, and then Juan Uribe beat out an infield hit to drive in the third run.
Which would prove to be the winning run.
At that point, Kershaw was fairly cruising. He carried the 3-0 lead into the sixth, when he finally slipped. And it started the way it too often does with most pitchers, with a walk.
Kershaw gave up his first and only walk of the night to ex-Dodger Jayson Werth and then had first-baseman Adam LaRoche0-2, when he left one much too over the plate and LaRoche drove it out for a two-run homer.
It was the first home run of the season allowed by Kershaw.
Kershaw went eight innings, surrendering the two runs on just three hits and the one walk. He struck out six. He is now 2-0 on the season with a 1.78 ERA.
In the ninth inning it was not Javy Guerra who came in to close but Kenley Jansen. The right-hander retired the Nationals for his first save of the season, though not before Danny Espinosa missed hitting the right-field foul pole for a game-tying homer by a couple inches.
Detwiler (2-1) went six innings for the Nationals, allowing the three runs on five hits and two walks.
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