Dodgers 8-3 over Nationals: Clayton Kershaw returns to mound with seven scoreless

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' starter Blake Treinen put together a strong outing in his first major league start, but the Los Angeles Dodgers put together a weak-but-effective rally in the sixth and then piled on the Nats' bullpen. Clayton Kershaw returned, 8-3 LA final.

No Rain Delays Top 5:

5. Quick Recap: Washington Nationals' right-hander Blake Treinen, in his MLB debut as a starter, and Los Angeles Dodgers' lefty Clayton Kershaw, in his first start since March 22nd in Australia, threw three scoreless a piece to start tonight game in the nation's capital, Treinen on 39 pitches, Kershaw on 34.

Treinen was up to 61 pitches after five scoreless innings. Kershaw was at 60 when he worked around the back-to-back hits that started the home-half of the fifth.

The Dodgers loaded the bases with no one out in the sixth when Treinen bobbled a weak grounder from Kershaw, Adam LaRoche bobbled a grounder from Dee Gordon and Carl Crawford hit a swinging bunt down the first base line that resulted in a hit. Hanley Ramirez's RBI single to right brought Kershaw in and made it 1-0 LA. Andre Ethier grounded into a force at second in his one-out at bat, bringing run no.2 in for the Dodgers and a two-out single to left by Juan Uribe made it a 3-0 game after five and a half.

Kershaw was up to 77 pitches and eight Ks after he worked out of trouble again in the sixth.

Dee Gordon sped around the bases on a gapper to right-center and was in safely at third before the rushed throw sailed over the bag to where Craig Stammen was backing up the play.

Stammen appeared to be out of the inning, however, when he got Carl Crawford to fly to left, but the ball bounced off Scott Hairston's glove, allowing LA's fourth run to score on the Nationals' second error. 4-0.

Ross Detwiler gave up a solo home run to center by Hanley Ramirez on the first pitch he threw in the Dodgers' eighth and surrendered a three-run blast by Drew Butera that made it 8-0 Dodgers.

Anthony Rendon's third hit of the game came off Dodgers' reliever Chris Perez and he scored the Nationals' first run on an RBI single by Jayson Werth. 8-1 LA.

Jose Lobaton hit a bases-loaded, two-out, two-run single to right to make it an 8-3 game.

That's how it ended. Rubber match at 1:05 pm EDT tomorrow afternoon... Stephen Strasburg vs Dan Haren

4. Treinen Debuts Again: Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams tried to avoid using left-hander Ross Detwiler or right-hander Craig Stammen in the last few games so he would have both available for tonight.

• KC explained:

Rather than use one of the two members of the Nats' 'pen, the Nationals opted to bring 25-year-old righty Blake Treinen back up to make the start in the second game of three with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"'Blake's been starting, he's been in that regular rotation,'" Williams told reporters including CSNWashington.com's Chase Hughes in explaining the choice. "'We certainly wanted to stay away from Stammen and [Detwiler] the last couple of days. We had the opportunity to do that, so we have some length, but Blake's going to start it for us.'"

Treinen, an Oakland A's 2011 7th Round pick has risen quickly over the last two-plus seasons. After he was taken with the 226th overall pick out of South Dakota State University, the 6'5'' righty spent the majority of his first pro season at Low-A in the Athletics' system. A's GM Billy Beane singled the starter out for praise the next spring in an interview with Athletics Nation writer Tyler Bleszinski.

"Treinen is a kid who was a late draft choice for us but he's been impressive," Beane said that spring.

Pitching at High-A Stockton in the A's system in 2012, Treinen was (7-7) with a 4.37 ERA, 4.20 FIP, 23 walks (2.01 BB/9) and 92 Ks (8.04 K/9) in 24 games, 15 starts, and 103 IP. After the season, he was traded to Washington as part of the package of three prospects the Nationals acquired in the three-team Michael Morse deal with the A's and Seattle Mariners.

After a strong campaign at Double-A Harrisburg in 2013, Treinen impressed in Spring Training with the Nationals and put himself in line for a call up to the majors which came in the second week of the season.

Working out of the bullpen, he posted a 1.35 ERA, with a 1.92 FIP, two walks (2.70 BB/9) and seven Ks (9.45 K/9) in 6 2/3 IP.

Treinen made four starts with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs this season.

1st: In his first major league start tonight in the nation's capital, Treinen got a weak groundout to first to start things and after giving up a one-out single to left by Carl Crawford, got a DP grounder out of Hanley Ramirez and a 6-4-3 inning-ender to complete the first frame of the game after just 10 pitches, seven of them strikes.

2nd: Dodgers' outfielder Matt Kemp took a 95 mph 2-2 heater to center for a leadoff single in the second and took second base when Andre Ethier followed with a line drive single to center field. Juan Uribe sent a grounder out to second where Danny Espinosa started a 4-3 DP for the first two outs of the LA second. Scott Van Slyke stepped in with a runner on third and grounded weakly to third base on a 96 mph full-count fastball. Anthony Rendon's charging throw ended a 17-pitch inning by Treinen, who was up to 27 pitches after two scoreless.

3rd: Matt Williams talked this spring about Treinen working on his secondary pitches to complement his high-90's heater. He didn't throw many breaking balls or offspeed pitches in the first two innings, but he dropped a nice 0-2 slider in on Dodgers' catcher Drew Butera to get a backwards K for the first out of the third. Clayton Kershaw hit a weak grounder back to the mound for out no.2. A foul pop by Dee Gordon fell into Scott Hairston's glove in short left, ending a 12-pitch frame and Treinen's third scoreless inning. 39 pitches overall.

4th-5th: After a scoreless fourth in which Treinen pitched around a two-out single by Matt Kemp, (and we did an interview on ESPN980), Anthony Rendon leapt to bring down a liner toward left from Juan Uribe in the first at bat of the Dodgers' fifth. Scott Van Slyke K'd swinging at a 1-2 slider. Drew Butera's fly to center ended a 10-pitch frame and Blake Treinen's fifth scoreless. 61 pitches through five.

• Random in-game RT:

6th: Clayton Kershaw hustled down the line and reached safely on a grounder back to the mound that Blake Treinen mishandled. E:1. Adam LaRoche bobbled a grounder from Dee Gordon in the next at bat and tossed a step late to the covering pitcher. E:3. Later ruled a hit. Carl Crawford's swinging bunt loaded the bases with no one out and a bloop single to right by Hanley Ramirez made it a 1-0 game in the Dodgers' favor. Craig Stammen took over there and struck Matt Kemp out for the first out of the sixth, but an RBI groundout by Andre Ethier made it 2-0 and a blooper to left by Juan Uribe fell in for a hit which drove in the last of the inherited runners to make it 3-0 LA after five and a half.

• Blake Treinen's line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 72 P, 49 S, 8/2 GO/FO.

3. Kershaw Returns: A "strained left teres major muscle behind his left shoulder" kept 26-year-old, left-handed Dodgers' ace Clayton Kershaw out of action since he pitched the season-opener for LA against the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 22nd in the Sydney Cricket Grounds in Australia.

The veteran of six-plus MLB seasons made two rehab starts before tonight, however, and was ready to retake the mound in the majors against a Nationals franchise he's dominated in the past.

In nine career outings (eight starts) against Washington before this evening's, the '06 1st Round pick was (5-2) with a 3.18 ERA 15 walks (2.65 BB/9) and 57 Ks (10.06 K/9) in 51 IP against the Nats, over which he held Nationals' hitters to a combined .200/.257/.363 line.

In the nation's capital, the Dallas, Texas-born southpaw was just (1-1) for his career in four games and three starts in Nationals Park in which the Nats posted a .227/.301/.515 line against him.

Tonight in D.C., Kershaw began his first stateside major league outing of 2014 with a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 first.

Scott Hairston improved to 9 for 23 career vs Kershaw with a leadoff single in the bottom of the second, but after a popout to foul territory in right by Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3.

Kershaw struck out Jose Lobaton and Blake Treinen and got a fly to left from Denard Span to end a 12-pitch third that left him at 34 total.

The Nationals threatened in the fourth with Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth singling in back-to-back at bats to start the inning, but Adam LaRoche popped out and Scott Hairston and Ian Desmond struck out to give Kershaw four scoreless on 49 pitches.

Blake Treinen sent a two-out single to center for the Nationals' fifth hit off Kershaw in five innings, but Denard Span grounded into a force at second to end another scoreless frame by the Dodgers' left-handed starter, who was up to 60 pitches overall after the 11-pitch frame.

Anthony Rendon singled to start the Nationals' sixth, but got picked off first by Kershaw. Nats' skipper Matt Williams stalled while the Nationals' replay guys took a look, but didn't challenge the call. Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche followed with back-to-back one-out singles, but Kershaw struck Scott Hairston and Ian Desmond out to end a 17-pitch sixth that left him at just 77 pitches overall after six scoreless. 8 Ks for Kershaw after he struck Hairston and Desmond out.

Nats' second baseman Danny Espinosa reached on an error by Hanley Ramirez in the first at bat of the Nationals' seventh, but Jose Lobaton grounded into a 6-4-3 DP to take the leadoff runner off the basepaths. Pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen singled to left field with two down, but Denard Span K'd swinging at a 93 mph 2-2 heater to end the seventh with Kershaw's ninth K. 12-pitch inning, 89 overall.

Clayton Kershaw's Line: 7.0 IP, 9 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 Ks, 89 P, 68 S, 5/2 GO/FO.

2. Long Relief: Blake Treinen made it through five, but the Dodgers loaded the bases and scored the game's first run in the sixth, at which point Matt Williams lifted the 26-year-old right-hander. Craig Stammen inherited a bases-loaded, 0 out jam and allowed two of the three runners he inherited to score while limiting the damage as much as possible. 3-0 Dodgers after five and a half.

1. The Wrap-Up: Craig Stammen hit Dodgers' catcher Drew Butera in the first at bat of the seventh, but got a double play grounder out of Clayton Kershaw. 1-4-3. Dee Gordon tripled with one down. Stammen appeared to be out of the inning, however, when he got Carl Crawford to fly out to left... but Scott Hairston got under the ball and had it bounce off his glove. E:7 = 4-0 LA. Second error of the game for the Nationals.

Ross Detwiler gave up two home runs in the eighth, a solo blast by Hanley Ramirez and a three-run bomb to left by Drew Butera. 8-0 LA. Anthony Rendon was 3 for 4 tonight when he tripled to right-center off Dodgers' right-hander Chris Perez and Rendon scored when Jayson Werth hit an RBI single in the next at bat. 8-1 LA.

The Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the eighth on Werth's single, and walks to Tyler Moore and Ian Desmond. Danny Espinosa K'd swinging for out no.2, but Jose Lobaton came through with a two-out, two-run single to right field that brought Werth and Moore in. A two-out walk to Zach Walters ended Perez's night. Jamey Wright took over on the mound and got the last out. 8-3 after eight.

That's how it ended...

Nationals now 18-15

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