Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg was scratched from tonight's matchup with back tightness, but Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took centerstage and dominated. Seven innings, 8 Ks, 1 ER when he tired and labored through a tough seventh inning. Joe Blanton pitched a scoreless eighth and Kenley Jansen got his 162nd save, setting the franchise record (Eric Gagne apparently called to congratulate Jansen; Gagne will be at the game tomorrow for a ceremony).
Justin Turner homered in the first and singled in Corey Seager in the fourth inning, and Joc Pederson added a leadoff HR in the fifth off of Yusmiero Petit. Chase Utley added an insurance run in the seventh inning to stretch the lead back to three runs.
Really gritty effort from Kershaw tonight, who was humble in deferring the limelight to Jansen in the post-game interviews. With the Giants' 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh (off a solo HR from the Pirates' backup catcher, on a ball that Giants LF Angel Pagan had in his glove but lost over the wall), the Dodgers are 5.5 games behind in the division and are in the Wild Card lead.
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