Dodgers 3, Nationals 2

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 28, 2012
Clayton Kershaw won his 10th straight decision, Andre Ethier hit a two-run homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Friday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the National League. Kershaw (2-0) allowed three hits over eight innings with six strikeouts and a walk. The league's reigning Cy Young Award winner became the first Dodgers pitcher to win 10 consecutive decisions since Ramon Martinez from August 1995 through May 1996. Kershaw also joined Ed Roebuck and Orel Hershiser as the only Dodgers to win 12 decisions in a row at home since the franchise moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958. Kershaw's home streak has spanned 16 starts, with a 1.22 ERA. The left-hander hasn't lost since last Aug. 7 at Arizona, when the Diamondbacks beat him 4-3 with two-run homers by Kelly Johnson and Cody Ransom. Kenley Jansen pitched a hitless ninth for his first save of the season, but had to hold his breath until Danny Espinosa's bid for a tying home run landed just foul in right field. Jansen plunked pinch-hitter Chad Tracy with two outs before striking out Jesus Flores. Ross Detwiler (2-1) allowed three runs and five hits over six innings before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. The left-hander had allowed only one earned run in 16 innings over his first three starts, a homer by Cincinnati's Ryan Ludwick. The Nationals, who allowed a major league-low four home runs through their first 19 games - and only one measly run by their starting pitchers in a span of 34 2-3 innings - fell behind 2-0 in the first when Ethier drove his fifth homer into the right-field bullpen following Matt Kemp's single. Ethier leads the majors with 24 RBIs, one more than Kemp, who stranded two runners in scoring position when he grounded out against Ryan Mattheus to end the seventh. Kemp and Ethier opened the fourth with singles and both runners advanced on Kershaw's sacrifice bunt before Juan Uribe beat out a single to deep shortstop to make it 3-0. But the Nationals broke through against Kershaw in the sixth with a leadoff walk to Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche's home run into the right-field bullpen on an 0-2 pitch. The Dodgers' bid for an insurance run in the eighth was squelched when Tony Gwynn tried to score from first base on a two-out double into the right-field corner by Uribe and was thrown out on the relay from Mark DeRosa to second baseman Espinosa to Flores. NOTES: A moment of silence was observed in memory of former Dodger Bill ''Moose'' Skowron, who died Friday of congestive heart failure at age 81. Skowron portrayed himself in an episode of ''Mister Ed'' in 1963 during a hilarious scene at Dodger Stadium where Mister Ed hits a pitch from Sandy Koufax with a bat in his mouth and runs around the bases. In the final scene, Mister Ed asks Wilbur Post, his owner, if he might be able to play for the Dodgers someday. Wilbur tells him how unlikely it is that they would sign a horse - to which Mister Ed replies: ''Why not? They've already got a moose.'' ... The Dodgers recalled RHP Nathan Eovaldi from Double-A Chattanooga and optioned LHP Michael Antonini to Triple-A Albuquerque. ... Washington's three starting pitchers in this series - Detwiler, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez - all came in with 2-0 records and ERAs under 1.53. ... Before LaRoche's third homer of the season, no one on the Nationals' roster had hit more than two home runs - making them the only team with that dubious distinction. ... Ethier's homer was his first off a left-handed pitcher in 75 at-bats since his solo shot against San Diego's Josh Spence on July 10, 2011, at Dodger Stadium.
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