Kershaw’s base running fuels Dodgers offense in win over Nats

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw helps lead the team to victory over the Nats. 

Mark J. Terrill/AP

How the Dodgers won: You’d think the circus came to town in the bottom of the fifth inning. After doing what he normally does on the  mound, Clayton Kershaw injected some life into the Dodgers on the basepaths of all places. On a Dee Gordon single to shallow center Kershaw went first to third. A surprised Bryce Harper came up throwing in center but his throw was offline. In the process Gordon took second base. Kershaw was serenaded with "MVP" chants from the left field pavilion as he stood gassed on third base. Two batters later, Adrian Gonzalez hit a ball that scored two runs, although it never left the infield. Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond bobbled the transfer from his glove hand. Gordon decided to follow Kershaw home. Desmond’s throw home from deep in the hole sailed into the backstop allowing Gordon to score easily and the Dodgers had their first two runs of the game in a 4-1 win Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The win was No. 17 for Kershaw which leads the majors. 

Stud of the game: Mo’ne Davis. The Little Leaguer from Pennsylvania, who took the nation by storm because of her ability to strike out the boys, was in attendance Tuesday night and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Just like she’d done all summer long, the pitch was a perfect strike and into the glove of Dodgers catcher Drew Butera. She even had time to sign autographs …for Yasiel Puig.

Dud of the game: The Nationals fielding. Only one error showed up in the official box score but the Nationals fielding was atrocious. Credit the Dodgers for being aggressive on the bases and forcing Washington to execute defensively, which they couldn’t.

Key stat: 1, as in the first career hit for Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. The Dodgers rookie was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque Monday after he was named the Pacific Coast League MVP and Rookie of the Year. His first hit came on a broken bat bloop single to shallow right center.

They said it: "There was a lot of hesitation. My turn was in left field. I took a 90-degree angle to second (base). I mean, there was a lot of bad base running there but sometimes it works out," Kershaw on going first to third in the fifth inning. 

What’s next: The Dodgers and Nationals will wrap up their three-game series with a matinee Wednesday at noon. It will be Jordan Zimmermann (10-5, 2.93 ERA) taking the mound for the Nationals against Carlos Frias (0-0, 5.65 ERA) making his first Major League start for the Dodgers.