Zack Greinke is sizzling this summer.
The NL All-Star Game starter continued his historic scoreless streak, throwing eight shutout innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat up the Washington Nationals 5-0 on Sunday.
In a game that featured two potential finalists for the NL Cy Young Award this season, fans in attendance at Nationals Park witnessed a classic pitcher's duel.
Greinke outdueled the Nationals' Max Scherzer, striking out a season-high 11 batters over eight shutout innings. Greinke's historic scoreless innings streak reached 43.2 innings, third-best in franchise history behind Orel Hershiser (59) and Don Drysdale (58).
Greinke also increased his streak of scoreless starts to six, tied for the most in a single season (also with Hershiser and Drysdale).
Greinke's start was all the more impressive as he made a season-high 119 pitchess, in scorching heat, lowering his league leading ERA to 1.30.
Scherzer allowed one run, on seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in six innings. Scherzer leads the league in wins (10), WHIP (0.78), and is second in strikeouts (158) and ERA (2.09).
"Both sides were just trying to squeak one run across with Scherzer and Greinke on the mound," Andre Ethier said. "We were able to get Zack one run, and that's all he needs sometimes."
The only run that Scherzer allowed came on a leadoff double by Andre Ethier in the 4th inning. Ethier advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored two batters later on a wild pitch by Scherzer.
"We had a talk about manufacturing runs when we're not swinging the bat well," Ethier said. "Whether that's small, ball, sacrificing runners over with bunts, or stealing bases. It worked. We got a run and gave Zack an opportunity to play with the lead."
The atmosphere felt similar to that of a playoff game as the first place Nationals lead the NL East, and the Dodgers are atop their division in the NL West. In addition to the top two pitchers in the league, each team features an MVP candidate as well in Adrian Gonzalez and Bryce Harper, respectively.
The Dodgers scored four runs in the top of the ninth, to break the game open. Ethier, A.J. Ellis and Yasiel Puig all hit RBI singles in the inning.
Kershaw and Greinke have combined for 25 strikeouts and one walk in the past two games.
The Dodgers recorded their league leading 14th shutout of the season, passing the San Francisco Giants for most on the year.
Los Angeles moved to a season-high 13 games above .500, their best mark on the season.
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