Closer Javy Guerra was sidelined for the night with what was described as a minor leg injury and the bullpen was short on back-end arms. The Dodgers had to get innings out of Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw responded the way he often has in these types of situations, holding the Washington Nationals to two runs and three hits in the first eight innings of the Dodgers' 3-2 victory at Dodger Stadium.

The win improved Kershaw's record to 2-0 and the Dodgers' to 14-6, which matched the Nationals' league-best mark. Kershaw has won his last 12 decisions at home; the last time he lost here was April 16 of last year.

"It was huge for us that he was able to go for as long as he did," Manager Don Mattingly said.

The little run support Kershaw received came from familiar sources: Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.

Ethier hit a two-run home run in the first inning to put the Dodgers ahead, 2-0.

The man on base? Kemp, who singled one at-bat earlier.

The home run was Ethier's fifth. He and Kemp have combined for 15 of the Dodgers' 18 home runs.

Ethier now has a major league-leading 24 runs batted in, one more than Kemp.