LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw pitched eight strong innings for his major league leading 17th win and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 Tuesday night.
Kershaw (17-3) gave up three hits and one run, walked two and struck out eight to win his third straight start and lower his ML-leading ERA to 1.70. He also went 1 for 2 with a run scored at the plate.
Doug Fister (12-6) lost his third consecutive start. He went five-plus innings, gave up 10 hits, four runs, walked two and struck out two.
Bryce Harper homered in the seventh for the Nationals' only run of the game. It was the first homer by a lefty against Kershaw this season.
With the win, the Dodgers (78-61) moved one game behind the Nationals (78-59) for the National League's best record.
The Nationals came in with 14 home runs in their previous four games, including four against the Dodgers on Monday.
Kershaw quickly quieted their bats, working through six shutout innings before giving up Harper's 11th homer of the season with two outs in the seventh, his only blip of the night.
Kershaw retired 12 straight at one point and, with his eight strikeouts, surpassed the 200-strikeout mark for the fifth consecutive season. He joins Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Don Sutton as the only pitchers in franchise history with at least five seasons of 200 strikeouts.
Kershaw was also responsible for jump starting the Dodgers offense. He laced a one-out single to center in the fifth, advanced to third on Dee Gordon's single and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's infield single to break a scoreless tie. Gordon raced home from second on the play when shortstop Ian Desmond's throw to the plate sailed over the head of catcher Wilson Ramos.
Juan Uribe added a two-run homer in the sixth to extend the Dodgers lead to 4-0, and that was enough for Kershaw and closer Kenley Jansen.
Jansen came on in the ninth and pitched a hitless inning for his 39th save.
Gonzalez went 2 for 3 with a walk, and Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis each went 2 for 4 to pace the Dodgers' 11-hit attack.
Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche sat out Tuesday's game due to lower back stiffness. Kevin Frandsen started at first base in his place. LaRoche is day-to-day.
Nationals: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (10-5, 2.93) hasn't lost since July 11. He is 1-0 in two career starts at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers: RHP Carlos Frias (0-0, 5.65) will make his first major league start. The 24-year old rookie has allowed 13 hits and nine runs in 14 1/3 innings with the Dodgers this season. He was primarily a starter in Triple-A, going 8-4 with a 5.01 ERA.
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