Kershaw, Dodgers blank lowly NationalsJul 28, 2008 - 1:24 AM By Jonathan Raber PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Clayton Kershaw figured he would get a win sooner or later. Now that he has, the rookie southpaw is already looking forward to the next one.
Kershaw tossed a career-high six-plus scoreless innings to earn his first career win as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals for the ninth straight time at home with a 2-0 victory on Sunday.
"It feels great to get the win, personally get one under my belt," Kershaw said. "Hopefully, there is more to come."
James Loney homered and All-Star Russell Martin added an RBI single to provide the offense for the Dodgers, who played their second game with newly acquired third baseman Casey Blake.
In his second stint with Los Angeles this season, Kershaw (1-3) finally got in the win column with his best performance to date.
After struggling with command in previous appearances with the big club, he scattered four hits and struck out five while walking just one in his 10th start of the season.
"I haven't pitched bad enough to not win and, at the same time, this is what they expect of me - this is what I'm supposed to do," Kershaw said.
Kershaw, who was lifted in favor of Chan Ho Park after walking the leadoff batter in the seventh, gave way to three relievers who combined to hold Washington hitless the rest of the way. Jonathan Broxton, who is filling in for injured closer Takashi Saito, picked up his fourth save in four chances.
The 20-year-old Kershaw originally was called up from Class AA Jacksonville to make his season debut on May 25 against the St. Louis Cardinals and pitched in eight games before being sent back to the minors.
"He could have easily got wins (in previous starts), it's unfortunate it took this long for him to get it," Martin said. "But he got it, and it was a good one and, hopefully, from here he keeps getting better."
The highly touted lefthander was recalled on July 22 after going 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in three starts for Jacksonville, and it looked like the demotion proved to be beneficial against the Nationals.
"His consistency with his fastball (was key)," Martin said. "He was throwing his curveball for strikes and, when he is throwing both of those pitches for strikes, he is going to be a tough guy to hit."
Loney's homer off of Nationals starter Jason Bergmann to lead off the second put Los Angeles ahead, 1-0.
"(The pitch) was right down the middle," Bergmann said.
The Dodgers doubled their advantage in the fifth when Martin fought off an inside pitch that blooped to left, allowing Juan Pierre to score and make it 2-0.
"Those types of swings, you don't get hits on," Martin said. "So, I kinda got lucky there."
Matt Kemp added two hits to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games and stole a base for the Dodgers, who have struggled to find an adequate replacement at shortstop since Rafael Furcal landed on the disabled list on May 13.
They lost their best substitute when Nomar Garciaparra left the game in the sixth inning with left knee irritation. He appeared to be injured after landing awkwardly while successfully tagging out Lastings Milledge at third base in the top of the inning and will be re-evaluated Monday.
Bergmann (1-8) - who is now winless in 12 starts -- went six innings, allowing two runs and six hits with three walks and five strikeouts for the Nationals, whose road woes continued. They have dropped six straight and 16 of 19 contests away from home.
"The team's not winning, so I'm not going to be a selfish guy saying I wish I could be winning more than (the next guy)," Bergmann said. "Everybody deserves to win, the team deserves to win; we play hard a lot."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
LA DODGERS 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 x 2 7 2 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: WAS - JASON BERGMANN, CHARLIE MANNING (7TH), SAUL RIVERA (7TH), LUIS
AYALA (8TH) AND WIL NIEVES, JESUS FLORES (8TH)
LOS - CLAYTON KERSHAW, CHAN HO PARK (7TH), HONG-
Jul 27 6:44 PM
AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY RUSSELL MARTIN SCORED JUAN PIERRE.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R MARTIN ON FIRST, M KEMP ON SECOND, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
LA DODGERS 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: J KENT (.253, 0-FOR-2)
Nationals 0, Dodgers 2 Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 27 5:32 PM
AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY JAMES LONEY (9) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0 OUT
IN THE 2ND OFF JASON BERGMANN.
CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0, LA DODGERS 1
DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: N GARCIAPARRA (.282, 5 HR, 19 RBI)
Nationals 0, Dodgers 1 Bot 2, 0 OutsJul 27 4:32 PM
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