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Greinke extends shutout streak to 43 2-3 innings, Dodgers blank Nationals 5-0

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WASHINGTON — Zack Greinke is really piling up the zeros.

Greinke extended his scoreless streak to 43 2-3 innings, striking a season-high 11 through the eighth and leading the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Washington Nationals 5-0 Sunday.

Greinke's string is the longest in the majors since Orel Hershiser set the major league record of 59 shutout innings in 1988 with the Dodgers.

"I don't think about it at all. I'm just not making a bunch of mistakes and making good pitches," Greinke said.

Last Tuesday night, Greinke started the All-Star Game and gave up a leadoff homer to Mike Trout, but that run doesn't count in the regular-season statistics.

Greinke's next start is scheduled for the coming weekend at the New York Mets.

Only Hershisher and Hall of Famers Don Drysdale (58) and Bob Gibson (47) have had longer scoreless spans than Greinke during the post-1960 expansion era. Los Angeles teammate Clayton Kershaw threw 41 shutout innings last year.

Greinke (9-2) leads the big leagues with a 1.30 ERA. He scattered three singles, walked one and threw 119 pitches in eight innings. He also picked a runner off first base.

"Everything but the curveball was working today and (that) was all right," he said.

This was his sixth straight scoreless start, all of them lasting at least six innings.

Max Scherzer (10-8) gave up one run in six innings. He left with the loss, and a 2.09 ERA, after the Dodgers won the matchup of NL division leaders.

Greinke said he didn't focus on who was pitching against him.

PHOTO: In this photo taken with a slow shutter speed, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
In this photo taken with a slow shutter speed, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

"I stopped thinking about (such duels) a long time ago. Whenever I tried to do more, the results would be worse," he said,

Said Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly: "It's hard to be better than this."

Washington first baseman Clint Robinson said facing Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young winner, and Greinke in less than 24 hours wasn't a lot of fun. Kershaw and Greinke combined to strike out 25 Nats in 16 innings.

"With those guys, you just have to get them in the strike zone and then, you know, put a good swing on it and hope something good happens," Robinson said. "You can't really go up there sitting on one particular pitch.

Scherzer's wild pitch in the fourth gave the Dodgers their first run.

Andre Ethier led off with a double, moved up on Yasmani Grandal's sacrifice and scored with two outs on Scherzer's wild pitch.

Los Angeles broke away with four runs in the ninth off Blake Treinen. Ethier and A.J. Ellis hit RBI singles and Yasiel Puig added a two-run single.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Dodgers: Grandal left the game in the sixth after taking a ball off his mask. X-rays were negative, but he'll have a CT scan on Monday. ... Mattingly said OF Carl Crawford (right oblique strain) will join the team in Atlanta on Monday, but won't necessarily be activated for the first game of the series. Crawford, who has been on the disabled list since April 28, has played in 10 minor league rehab games this season.

Nationals: 2B Danny Espinosa was in the lineup after leaving Saturday's game with what turned out to be cramps. ... CF Denard Span, sidelined since July 6 with a back injury, said that he's feeling better after having cortisone injections to try to relieve the pain.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: RHP Brandon Beachy (0-1, 6.75) makes his second start since returning from right elbow surgery on July 11. He starts against the Braves, the team he pitched for from 2010-13.

Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-4, 3.99) is 8-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 14 career starts against the New York Mets, who open a three-game series in Washington on Monday.

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PHOTO: Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park, Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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