LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer have received three Cy Young Awards and one World Series ring apiece since their spectacular careers each started in 2008. Entering this season, they even had precisely 175 victories every.

Kershaw has nudged barely forward of his pleasant rival in that final class, due to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ very good begin to the season – and one lucky break within the outfield Sunday when these two veteran aces went face to face.

Kershaw pitched six innings of 5-hit ball to win an impressive duel with Scherzer, and rookie Zach McKinstry drove in all three runs within the defending champion Dodgers’ 3-0 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Kershaw (2-1) struck out six with no walks in his first residence begin since successful his first title. The Dodgers’ longtime star barely got here out forward within the fourth profession matchup between two of the best pitchers of their technology.

“I have a ton of respect for him and everything he’s done in this game,” Kershaw mentioned of Scherzer. “You try not to attack it any differently. You always want to put zeros on the board. But after we got that early run, you want to make it stand up since Max probably isn’t going to be giving up many more runs.”

The distinction between Kershaw and Scherzer was one lengthy fly ball: McKinstry drove in Max Muncy within the second inning when Victor Robles misplaced it within the hazy LA afternoon solar.

Otherwise, Scherzer (0-1) was simply nearly as good as Kershaw, pitching six innings of three-hit ball with 5 strikeouts and a stroll. But his Nats had been shut out for the third time in 4 video games, together with twice on this three-recreation collection sweep by LA.

“You want to go out there and pitch your best, because these are games you remember,” mentioned Scherzer, who retired 10 straight Dodgers after Muncy scored. “These are matchups you remember, and really how you judge yourself, how you perform in these situations. … You know you’re going to be in a close ballgame when you’re going against Kersh. He was great today.”

Kershaw wasn’t as overpowering as Scherzer, however he stored Washington scoreless with precision and guile. With his remaining pitch, he struck out Jordy Mercer on a full-rely slider nicely under the strike zone to finish the sixth, stranding Turner on second and incomes yet one more standing ovation from the mini-sellout crowd of 15,049.

Both Kershaw and Scherzer have posted successful information in 11 consecutive seasons, the longest energetic streaks within the majors. With his victory, Kershaw improved to 177-77 in his profession, changing into solely the ninth pitcher to go 100 video games over .500 since divisional play started in 1969.

“It’s just a product of being on great teams,” Kershaw mentioned. “That’s really all it is. I’ve been fortunate to be on Dodger teams that make the playoffs year after year. We always win games.”

McKinstry added the second homer of his large league profession within the seventh, a two-run shot off reliever Tanner Rainey.

McKinstry’s 10 RBIs this season lead the Dodgers, who’re off to a serious league-finest begin of 8-2 regardless of taking part in this collection with out injured former MVP outfielders Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger.

“He’s a baseball player, man,” Kershaw mentioned of McKinstry. “I think that’s the best compliment you can give a guy in this game. He’s like the left-handed Kike (Hernandez), doing things that Kike used to do.”

Trea Turner had three hits for the Nationals, who’re 1-5 after beginning the season late and quick-handed resulting from coronavirus woes.

“What often happens is when your team is not scoring runs, you put a little added pressure on yourself to be the guy to drive those guys in, and I’m seeing a little bit of that right now,” Washington supervisor Dave Martinez mentioned. “You start seeing guys swing a little harder, maybe chasing pitches they don’t normally chase. We just need to relax, and it’s going to happen. These guys are playing hard.”

BRILLIANT BULLPEN

Los Angeles acquired three scoreless innings of aid. Washington’s first two batters within the eighth singled off Blake Treinen, however Juan Soto flied out to shallow heart on a 3-0, letter-excessive pitch whereas Treinen escaped the jam.

Kenley Jansen threw a flawless eight-pitch ninth for his second save.

“I haven’t seen that (recently),” Kershaw mentioned of the as soon as-beleaguered Jansen’s 94-mph cutter. “That was awesome. That’s a good sign for the Dodgers.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: Martinez hopes LHP Jon Lester, 1B Josh Bell, 2B Josh Harrison and OF Kyle Schwarber will be reinstated from the injured record by Monday. They’ve been out all season below COVID-19 protocols.

Dodgers: Betts, who acquired his fourth Silver Slugger conscious pregame, missed the collection with again stiffness. Roberts doesn’t imagine the issue is critical or persistent, and Betts hasn’t had a painkilling injection.

UP NEXT

Nationals: Eric Fedde (0-1, 27.00 ERA) takes the mound Monday at Busch Stadium when Washington opens a 3-recreation collection in opposition to the Cardinals.

Dodgers: After a time off, Trevor Bauer (1-0, 4.15 ERA) makes his residence debut Tuesday when the Dodgers open a 3-recreation collection with Colorado.



Sources

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