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Nats' bats silenced by Kershaw in 3-0 loss to the Dodgers

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Nats' bats silenced by Kershaw in 3-0 loss to the Dodgers

By BETH HARRIS

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Clayton Kershaw tied Sandy Koufax's franchise record of six straight 200-strikeout seasons while tossing eight scoreless innings, and the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night.

Kershaw (10-6) took a perfect game bid into the sixth inning, when Michael Taylor doubled to deep center field. Kershaw retired the next two batters on grounders to end the inning.

The 27-year-old left-hander struck out the side in the second to equal the mark set by Koufax from 1961-66. Koufax and Tom Seaver (1968-76) are the only pitchers in modern NL history to accomplish the feat in six or more consecutive seasons.

Kershaw is unbeaten in his last seven starts and he reached double-digit wins for the sixth straight year. The reigning Cy Young Award winner and league MVP gave up three hits and struck out eight in a game that lasted 2:20.

Anthony Rendon singled leading off the seventh and Taylor singled in the eighth for the only other hits off Kershaw. The Nationals dropped the season series 4-2 after getting outscored 8-0 in the last two games.

Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth to earn his 22nd save in 23 chances.

Pinch-hitter Andre Ethier extended the Dodgers' lead to 3-0 in the eighth. He doubled to deep right field and second baseman Rendon's throwing error allowed Ethier and Joc Pedersen, who was hit by a pitch, to score.

Carl Crawford's RBI single with two outs in the third gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Jordan Zimmermann (8-8) nearly matched Kershaw, giving up two hits and one run in seven innings. He struck out a season-high nine, including Adrian Gonzalez three times, and walked one.

Kershaw was backed by two sparkling plays from Kike Hernandez, who played shortstop after Jimmy Rollins wasn't in the starting lineup. Hernandez bobbled a ball hit by Bryce Harper with two outs in the third, but recovered and threw to first base in time.

After Taylor's double spoiled Kershaw's perfect game, Hernandez fell going for a sharply hit ball by Yunel Escobar. He got up, did a 180-turn and fired a one-bounce throw to first that ended the inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: CF Denard Span, sidelined since early July because of back tightness, has been doing some throwing, running and light swinging. The team is proceeding with caution because of a minor setback Span had last week during batting practice. ... RHP Davis Carpenter, who hasn't pitched since June 5 due to shoulder inflammation, is throwing on flat ground and could have a bullpen session soon.

Dodgers: INF Justin Turner will be activated in the next couple days off the 15-day DL, where he landed with a right thigh skin infection that he said was MRSA, a contagious and antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. He got in conditioning work Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-5, 4.76 ERA) starts the four-game series at San Francisco. He is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three career starts at AT&T Park, while never allowing more than two earned runs and striking out seven in each of his three outings.

Dodgers: RHP Mat Latos (4-8, 4.67) starts the four-game home series against Cincinnati. He is coming off a loss last weekend in Pittsburgh in which he allowed six runs and seven hits in four innings while not having a strikeout.

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John Gant homers, pitches Cardinals to 6-4 win over Nationals

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USA TODAY Sports

John Gant homers, pitches Cardinals to 6-4 win over Nationals

ST. LOUIS -- Even John Gant cracked a smile.

Gant homered for his first major league hit and pitched one-run ball into the sixth inning, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 6-4 on Tuesday night for their season-high seventh consecutive victory.

Kolten Wong had three hits and three RBIs as St. Louis (65-55) pulled within four games of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs and moved within one game of the Philadelphia Phillies for the second NL wild card. The Cardinals also improved to 18-9 since Mike Shildt was named interim manager on July 13, the most wins for a manager through his first 27 games in franchise history.

"Things are starting to click for us," Wong said. "We're playing confident. We're out there playing aggressive and I think it's the kind of baseball Cardinals fans have been waiting for."

The Nationals (60-60) have dropped six of eight to fall eight games behind Atlanta in the NL East.

"We've just got to keep pulling the same rope, keep grinding it out, keep trying to win ballgames," Nationals slugger Bryce Harper said.

Gant (5-4) permitted four hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings. He has given up just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings in his last two starts, both wins.

The 26-year-old Gant was 0 for 30 for his career when he drove a 1-1 pitch from Gio Gonzalez (7-9) over the wall in left in the second. The two-run shot gave Washington a 3-0 lead.

"I was jogging kind of my hands in the air," said Wong, who scored on Gant's homer. "I already knew it was going out. Looking back I think he almost caught me."

Added Gant, "I thought it was going to hit the wall maybe but when I finally looked up and (Wong) was looking back at me, that's when I knew it was going over the wall."

Gant, who has a reputation for being a stoic player, admitted to smiling "once or twice" once he got back to the dugout.

Wong's solo homer made it 6-1 in the sixth, but Washington responded with three in the eighth. Harper hit a two-run shot, and Daniel Murphy singled in Anthony Rendon.

Matt Adams then struck out looking against Dakota Hudson, ending the inning, and Jordan Hicks worked the ninth for his fourth save in eight chances.

Paul DeJong also doubled and scored for St. Louis one night after he connected for a game-ending homer in a 7-6 victory. Matt Carpenter walked in the sixth to extend his on-base streak to 32 games.

"We have a 25-man roster and we have confidence in all of them," Shildt said. "They're here for a reason and guys are looking to contribute every night and in different ways."

Gonzalez was charged with five runs and five hits in four innings. The veteran left-hander is just 1-4 in his last six starts.

"I wasn't hitting my spots," Gonzalez said. "Just not being as consistent in the strike zone as I should be. It's just one of those games you can't explain."

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Nationals place Ryan Madson on 10-day DL

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Nationals place Ryan Madson on 10-day DL

Ryan Madson is the latest Washington National headed to the DL, turning the team's relief pitching rotation upside down even more than it already is. 

According to MASN's Dan Kolko, the 37-year-old is nursing a "lumbar nerve root irritation" injury and will sit out for 10 days. 

In response, the team has named Koda Glover as the closer, who was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse Wednesday. 

Glover gave up a game-ending solo blast to the Cardinals' Kevin DeJong Monday night. 

The night before, Madson was on the other end of David Bote's walk-off grand slam in Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Cubs. 

As for Tuesday night, Glover's status remains unknown.

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