Washington Nationals: Max Scherzer wins duel in LA

rjuckett
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20: Max Scherzer
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20: Max Scherzer /
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Sammy Solis slams a rally down in the seventh as the Washington Nationals win the first in Los Angeles. A solid team effort puts the Nats at 10-10.

The Washington Nationals jumped on Clayton Kershaw early and made it stick. They beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-2.

The Nats worked nine hits off Kershaw, a rare feat. Amazing when you consider the team came into the game hitting .235. This one was a team effort.

In the battle of the aces, Max Scherzer had the better night. But, he had trouble getting clean innings and ran out of gas in the sixth at 106 pitches. Usually with pinpoint command, he walked three and plunked Corey Seager twice.

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Yet, with his adrenaline pumping early, Scherzer kept the Dodgers off the scoreboard. He fanned eight while scattering a run on four hits. His ERA sits at 1.36 with another nine strikeouts in the books.

Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Taylor punched two hits each. With Zimmerman now on a hot streak, the Dodgers can no longer pitch around Bryce Harper. The patience of manager Dave Martinez pays off.

SMALL BALL PAYS OFF AGAIN

The Nats manufactured a run in the fifth on a surprise bunt from Turner. When Kershaw grabbed the ball, there was no one there to catch it. Turner singled as Taylor scored.

Again, when Washington needs to break a pitcher’s tempo, they do. After early trouble, Kershaw retired 11 straight. On a cool night in Los Angeles, you would need rockets to get a ball out of Dodger Stadium. The Nats scored five on three walks, two doubles and eight singles.

SOLIS DELIVERS IN THE CLUTCH

After Matt Grace struggled with an unknown injury in the seventh, Sammy Solis slammed the door. He settled down after a run-scoring single by Yasmani Grandal to get Corey Bellinger and Matt Kemp out.

Brandon Kintzler and Sean Doolittle retired the last six batters and Ryan Madson got a second much-needed day off.

No early word on Grace. He tweaked something on a delivery and gutted his way through his last batter.

CARLOS TORRES WITH DC

If you missed it earlier, Washington designated A.J. Cole for assignment and bought Carlos Torres’ contract from Syracuse.

Torres warmed twice tonight but did not get in the game. The team hopes he can throw over three outs a game.

For Cole, after two rough relief outings, he is on waivers. If he clears, his likely destination is Triple-A Syracuse to rebuild his confidence. Flip a coin if he gets through waivers.

Next: Martinez passing early tests

Steven Strasburg gets the call later!

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