Clayton Kershaw outduels Stephen Strasburg to help Dodgers

The highly anticipated first-ever matchup between Clayton Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg turned out exactly as most expected — a pitcher’s duel.
 
Luckily for the Dodgers, Kershaw had the slightly better day, yielding only three hits in seven innings to lead Los Angeles to a 2-1 victory.
 
The victory helped the Dodgers (36-25) avoid a series sweep by the Nationals (37-21).
 
Kershaw, who had one win and a save in three appearances last fall when the Dodgers beat the Nationals in the NLDS, was sharp throughout the game Wednesday. He struck out nine and walked three. His only big mistake: a fastball in the second inning to Ryan Zimmerman, who hit his NL-leading 17th home run.
 
 
“First pitch, I thought I’d sneak a strike, and the ball seemed off the plate,” Kershaw told reporters after the game. “I throw lot of heaters first pitch, and I bet he was expecting it. Impressive swing, for sure.”
 
“He’s one of the best now and maybe ever,” Zimmerman said of Kershaw.
 
Strasburg was almost as good, allowing only one earned run in six innings of work, the big blow a home run by Corey Seager. Strasburg allowed only three hits and struck out eight. If you’re into really obscure stats, he made history in the first inning with his strikeout of Seager. That tied him with former Cubs ace Kerry Wood for most strikeouts (1,166) by a starting pitcher in his first 1,000 innings.
 
More records may follow for Strasburg. And so will more matchups with the three-time Cy Young Award winner Kershaw.
 
Wednesday’s MLB scores
Blue Jays 7, Athletics 5
Rockies 8, Indians 1
Dodgers 2, Nationals 1
Yankees 8, Red Sox 0
Tigers 4, Angels 0
Brewers 6, Giants 3
Braves 14, Phillies 1
Reds 6, Cardinals 4
Rays 3, White Sox 1
Orioles 9, Pirates 6
Royals 7, Astros 5
Mets 4, Rangers 3
Marlins 6, Cubs 5
Mariners 6, Twins 5
Diamondbacks Padres
 
Studs of the night
 
Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini hit a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of 11th to power the Orioles to a 9-6 win over the Pirates. Oh, he had come on as a pinch-hitter in the ninth, and hit a two-run home run to send the game into extra innings. Both homers came with two outs.
 
CC Sabathia keeps on drinking from the fountain of youth. The 36-year-old lefty pitched eight innings of scoreless ball in the Yankees’ 8-0 win against the Red Sox. He gave up five hits and struck out five in running his record to 7-2.
 
Dud of the night
 
On the same day Pirates manager Clint Hurdle voiced his support for closer Tony Watson despite another blown save Tuesday night, Watson did it again. Wednesday, he gave up two hits, including a two-run, game-tying home run by Trey Mancini, in the bottom of the ninth to help the Orioles tie the game 6-6. Watson now has five blown saves this season.

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