Kenley Jansen got the Dodgers' all-time saves record with 162 as he closed out the team's 4-1 win over the Nationals on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.Clayton Kershaw was his usual self, holding the Nationals to one run in seven innings to pick up his 11th win.
Kershaw cruised for six innings, scattering three hits while striking out eight, but ran into trouble in the seventh. Daniel Murphy, Wilson Ramos, and Anthony Rendon all singled to double the Nationals' hit total against the southpaw and get into the run column. Washington had advanced the tying run to second before Chris Heisey flied out to center to end the inning.
"It's kind of a turnkey deal for me when Clayton takes the mound," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "The heat, a little bit out there, you see him working a little extra tonight, but he got us through seven innings. They're a team that slugs over there. They found some holes in the seventh, but as Clayton always does, he found a way."
Finishing with eight strikeouts and no walks, Kershaw improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 20.14, keeping him on pace to shatter the single-season record.
Spot starter Yusmeiro Petit filled in for Stephen Strasburg, who was scratched with an upper back strain. He performed well under the circumstances, allowing three runs and a total of six baserunners while striking out five.
"His arm is very resilient," Nats manager Dusty Baker said about Petit. "He threw big-time strikes, and he kept us in the game. Heck, he even got a hit, our first hit. He saved our bullpen."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Turner trucks on:Justin Turner's 418-foot home run in the first inning extended his hitting streak to eight games, a span in which he's hit .467 with five homers. In his last 15 games, he's increased his OPS by 126 points and put a slow start well behind him.
"I think JT is being JT right now," Roberts said. "Obviously a bit of a struggle early. It's not like he's necessarily hot, this is just him. This is the way he hits. Hits good pitching. Hits good pitches. Not really one way to get him out. It's fun to get him back."
Stras scratched: This marquee pitching matchup was spoiled when Strasburg, off to one of the best starts of his career at 10-0 with a 2.90 ERA, was scratched about an hour before his start. It would have marked the first matchup of two starters with double-digit wins this early in the season in 100 years, according to STATS, LLC. The extent of Strasburg's injury was unclear, but he had been off to one of the best starts of his career at 10-0 with a 2.90 ERA.More >
Strasburg injured himself working out on Saturday, and although he felt a little pinch at the time, he did not think much of it. He received treatment until Monday night when the Nationals made the decision to scratch him.
"I just don't want to make the same mistake I made last year and have it become a long term thing," Strasburg said. "I just want to nip it in the bud, and get ready for the next one."
Kenley gets the record: Jansen's record-breaking save could hardly have been more dominant, as he struck out Ryan Zimmerman and Ramos then forced a weak grounder from Rendon. The save also made him the first Dodger ever with five 20-save seasons. More >
"The consistency that he brings every year to the back end of our games, it's nice to have," Turner said. "It's nice to know when you pass the ball to him with the lead, you got a really good chance of winning the ballgame."
Answering the call: Baker has called Petit his utility pitcher for his ability to adapt to any role. This past weekend in San Diego, he filled in as the closer. And on Monday, he was thrown into the starting role after Strasburg was scratched. Petit answered with another strong outing, throwing 94 pitches to complete six innings. It helped save the Nationals' bullpen and kept his team in the game, although Washington could not put together much offense against Kershaw. More >
"He's a very, very valuable guy to have on this team, which is indicative of why we signed him," Baker said.
QUOTABLE "This is LA, this is not hot here. Where I grew up, Texas is hot. If this was a day game, it might have been a little different." -- Kershaw on pitching through triple-digit heat
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS It's no secret Kershaw does bad things to left-handed hitters, and Bryce Harper is no exception. Harper's third strikeout of the night in the sixth inning pushed the outfielder's career line against Kershaw to 1-for-15 with 10 strikeouts, though that one hit was a home run.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW In the third inning with the bases empty, Yasmani Grandal hit a long fly ball into the left field stands that was called foul. After some prodding from the Dodgers, a crew chief review was initiated and confirmed the ball indeed travelled foul. Petit struck Grandal out looking with his next pitch.
WHAT'S NEXT Nationals: With their bullpen taxed from the past few days, the Nats will be counting on right-hander Tanner Roark to last deep into his outing Tuesday night when they continue this three-game series against the Dodgers. Roark has usually answered the call; he has lasted at least six innings in 11 of his 14 starts. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET.
Dodgers:Scott Kazmir will take the mound Tuesday trying to reach deep into a game for the first time this month. In three June starts, the veteran southpaw hasn't pitched past the fifth inning and has allowed three earned runs in all of them. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT.