LOS ANGELES -- With a little help from his teammates and some costly miscues by the Washington Nationals, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers avoided their first three-game sweep of the season.
Corey Seager homered and Yasmani Grandal doubled home the go-ahead run to lift the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the Nationals at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.
Kershaw (8-2) struck out nine with three walks. He allowed one run on three hits in seven innings to help the Dodgers (36-25) end a three-game slide.
Kershaw joins Colorado Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela as the National League's only eight-game winners.
Kershaw said he didn't have his best stuff.
"Yeah, I didn't have much today in the tank," said Kershaw, who is 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA in seven starts at home. "I felt fine, it just wasn't coming out the way I wanted to. I felt like I threw a lot of off-speed pitches, I don't know exactly. That's a good lineup, too. They've got a really good team over there. Fortunate to get a win there and it feels good to kind of salvage the series a little bit."
Closer Kenley Jansen got the final four outs for his 10th save. It was the fifth save this season in which he got four outs or more.
Kershaw earned the edge over Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg in their first-ever matchup. Although Strasburg blanked the Dodgers for five innings, they rallied for two runs in the sixth. A passed ball extended the inning and eventually cost him and the Nationals. Strasburg (7-2) fanned eight with one walk, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits in six innings with 104 pitches (70 strikes).
"He would have had plenty of gas to go out and pitch the seventh," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said, blaming his club's mistakes. "Then, we had the lead-off triple and we didn't score. So, when you play in close games like that with two great pitchers, a mistake here or a mistake there is the difference in the game."
Regardless, Strasburg was pleased with his outing and refused to point any fingers.
"I really thought I executed really well today, but the balls didn't bounce our way but I tried to keep it close," said Strasburg, who had his four-game winning streak end and lost for the first time since April 29.
Ryan Zimmerman hammered the first pitch from Kershaw into the seats in left for a solo shot to open the second inning for the lone Nationals run. It was Zimmerman's club-high 17th home run this season.
Seager's solo blast with two outs in the sixth tied the score at 1. For Seager, it was his eighth home run and first since May 20, a span of 16 games.
"He's really good," Seager said of Strasburg. "He's pretty much really good all of the game. Really good change-up today, threw strikes, was in and out, he was effective. (I was looking) for just something out over the plate, really. Fortunately, I got one."
Adrian Gonzalez kept the inning alive by reaching on a third strike that got past catcher Jose Lobaton, and Gonzalez advanced to second on a wild pitch. Grandal followed with his run-scoring double for the lead.
Washington's Trea Turner led off the eighth with a triple. However, he was tagged out at the plate after getting caught in a rundown for the second out in the inning when Bryce Harper hit a comebacker to reliever Pedro Baez.
The Nationals (37-21), who own the best record in the National League, had their three-game winning streak snapped. They capped their nine-game West Coast swing with a 7-2 record.
"You feel pretty good. You certainly would have wanted to win this one but they're tough to sweep here," Baker said. "But we did have them on the ropes in the eighth."
NOTES: Struggling Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda has been banished to the bullpen and was replaced by LHP Alex Wood (SC joint inflammation), who is scheduled to come off the 10-day disabled list and start Saturday's contest against the Cincinnati Reds. ... The Nationals will host the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday in a make-up game that was rained out on May 11. Orioles RHP Alex Asher (2-3, 3.62 ERA) will oppose RHP Joe Ross (2-2, 7.34). ... Los Angeles is off Thursday before engaging in a three-game homestand against the Reds. Cincinnati LHP Amir Garrett (3-4, 7.17) will face Dodgers LHP Rich Hill (2-2, 4.15) in the opener.