KEY MOMENT: After the Dodgers loaded the bases in the sixth inning on an error and two infield hits, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Juan Uribe unloaded them, driving in a run each with a single, a fielder's choice and a single to break open a scoreless game. Clayton Kershaw, who blanked the Nationals for seven innings in his return from the disabled list, started the rally by hustling down the line to beat Blake Treinen's throw after the Washington pitcher had trouble fielding his infield dribbler. The Dodgers scored four more runs in the eighth inning on home runs by Ramirez and Drew Butera.
AT THE PLATE: The first five hitters in the Dodgers lineup — Dee Gordon, Carl Crawford, Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Ethier — had at least two hits each, with Gordon scoring two runs and Ramirez driving in two. Crawford had three hits, giving him eight in his last four games to raise his average 60 points to .245 over that span. Butera's home run, a three-run shot, was his second of the trip.
ON THE MOUND: Kershaw shut out the Nationals for seven innings, striking out nine and walking no one. He was remarkably efficient for a guy who just spent six weeks on the disabled list, making only 89 pitches, 68 for strikes. He also picked off a runner, getting Anthony Rondon after he led off the sixth inning with a single. Chris Perez followed Kershaw to the mound and struggled in the eighth inning, getting only two outs and giving up three runs before leaving with the bases loaded.
EXTRA BASES: Butera had one of the most painful at-bats of the season leading off the seventh inning. First, a ball he fouled into the dirt bounced up and struck him in the eye. Then, after being attended to by a trainer, he was hit by the next pitch. ... Yasiel Puig, held out of the lineup for a second game in a row, said he was feeling better after crashing into the right-field fence Sunday in Miami. But the Dodgers continued to monitor him for concussion-like symptoms, running him through a series of drills on the field before Tuesday's game.
UP NEXT: What has seemed like an endless trip for the Dodgers finally concludes Wednesday when former National Dan Haren (4-0, 2.39 ERA) takes the mound against right-hander Stephen Strasburg (2-2, 3.60) at 10 a.m. PDT. Since leaving Los Angeles 10 days ago, the Dodgers have experienced a rain out, an eight-hour doubleheader, a 3-hour 17-minute rain delay and two extra-inning games. Haren has pitched once on the trip, giving up three earned runs in 62/3 innings in a 9-4 victgory over the Minnesota Twins. On the air: TV: SportsNet LA; Radio: 570, 1020.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times