Dodgers Vs. Nationals Game Preview: Clayton Kershaw Can Seal Series Win
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw against the Washington Nationals
Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers take the field Saturday with an opportunity to extend their winning streak to a season-high-tying eight games and guarantee a series victory against the Washington Nationals.

They do so with Clayton Kershaw on the mound looking to build off a dominant performance his last time out. Kershaw held the Chicago Cubs to just one run over eight innings and set a season high with 13 strikeouts.

He improved to 9-7 on the season to go along with a 3.25 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 17 starts. Kershaw logged at least six innings in all five of his June starts and finished the month with 47 strikeouts in 32 frames.

The Dodgers stand to benefit from any length he can provide as they face the prospect of a bullpen game in the series finale due to Trevor Bauer being placed on administrative leave by MLB.

Kershaw historically has pitched well at Nationals Park, where he is 4-1 with a 2.58 ERA in seven career games (six starts). He previously saw Washington this season and pitched through some traffic to hold them scoreless over six innings of a 3-0 win at Dodger Stadium.

Paolo Espino takes the mound for the Nationals in what’s just his fourth start but 19th game overall this season. The right-hander 2-2 with a 2.02 ERA and 0.87 WHIP but hasn’t pitched more than five innings in any game thus far. The 34-year-old has never faced the Dodgers in his career.

The Nationals are without Kyle Schwarber, who suffered a right hamstring strain in the second inning on Friday night and has been placed on the 10-day injured list. The Nationals acquired Alcides Escobar from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations and start him at shorstop.

Trea Turner remains day-to-day due to swelling in his left middle finger that was jammed on a day that he hit for the cycle.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
2B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
CF: Cody Bellinger
C: Will Smith
1B: Albert Pujols
SS: Gavin Lux
LF: AJ Pollock
P: Clayton Kershaw

Nationals lineup

2B: Josh Harrison
RF: Juan Soto
1B: Ryan Zimmerman
3B: Starlin Castro
C: Yan Gomes
LF: Gerardo Parra
SS: Alcides Escobar
CF: Victor Robles
P: Paolo Espino

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