LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw struck out 11 and finished one out shy of a shutout, Andre Ethier hit a two-run single and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Kershaw threw a career-high 132 pitches and scattered five hits in his first win since April 28. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning by striking out Tyler Moore.
The Dodgers scored in the third after Kershaw walked and Matt Kemp singled off Dan Haren. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Ethier's sharp single to centre.
Kershaw (4-2) was pulled after Adam LaRoche singled with two outs in the ninth on his career-high 132nd pitch, most by a major league starter since Detroit ace Justin Verlander also threw 132 on Aug. 6 last year against the Yankees, according to STATS.
Kenley Jansen got the final out for his second save.
Kershaw flirted with his career high of 13 strikeouts. He struck out 11 through six innings but was unable to get any more.
The Nationals got an early opportunity against Kershaw but were unable to take advantage of it. Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond singled with two outs in the first inning, and LaRoche walked to load the bases. Kershaw then struck out Moore.
The left-hander fanned leadoff hitter Danny Espinosa to start the game, giving him 1,000 career innings.
Haren (4-4) was looking for his fourth consecutive win but a troublesome third inning turned out to be costly.
The Dodgers put runners at first and second with two outs in the second, but Haren worked his way out of the jam by getting No. 8 batter Dee Gordon on a fly ball for the third out.
Kershaw kept the Nationals in check after the first inning, retiring 21 of his last 23 batters. The only blemishes during that stretch were singles by Zimmerman in the third and sixth.
Zimmerman had three of Washington's four hits and was finally retired on a deep fly to right field in the ninth.
Kershaw had at least one strikeout in each of the first six innings. He struck out the side in the second.
NOTES: Nationals OF Bryce Harper sat out after running headfirst into the right-field wall while chasing a fly ball Monday night. The violent collision left the 20-year-old slugger with 11 stitches in his chin and soreness all over his body. He is expected to miss the series finale Wednesday night, too.