Treinen gets help from defense early against Dodgers (L.A. wins 8-3)

It is a pretty big night for Blake Treinen.

In one day, he is called up again to the big leagues and later that night he makes his first major league start.

Oh, and he has to face the Los Angeles Dodgers’ potent offense and ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw.

The Nationals right-hander has pitched well for Triple-A Syracuse to begin this season, with four starts and a 1.59 ERA. Last season, he made 22 starts for the Chiefs, going 6-7 with a 3.47 ERA.

As a reliever for the Nationals this season, Treinen made three appearances in April, going 0-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 6 2/3 innings.

The best way for a first-time starterin the majors to get his feet wet is have his defense make some plays behind him early on.

In the first inning with one out, Carl Crawford singled, but then was wiped away when Hanley Ramirez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the frame.

In the second inning, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier led off with back-to-back singles. Then Treinen got Juan Uribe to ground into a double play to second baseman Danny Espinosa. Anthony Rendon then made a nice play on a Drew Butera grounder to end the threat.

Through two innings, Treinen kept the Dodgers off the board. The big test comes the second time through the order when the Dodgers get their second look at the him.

Jayson Werth was able to get a single off of Kershaw in the first. Scott Hairston with a base hit to lead off the second. But that has been it so far against the 2011 and 2013 National League Cy Young Award winner.

No score through two innings.

Update: The bottom of the fourth kind of felt like the best chance the Nationals might have to score a run or two against Kershaw when they opened with a pair of base hits, Anthony Rendon and Werth with clean singles. But a pop-up by Adam LaRoche in foul territory and two swinging strikeouts quickly ended the possibility the Nats would draw first blood. At least in the fourth.

The Dodgers got a second look at Treinen’s stuff but were still unable to score off him through five innings. Kemp has two hits, but Treinen has two strikeouts and no walks allowed at the midway point.

Treinen even slapped a single to right field in his second at-bat off of Kershaw, his first major league base hit.

But still a scoreless pitchers’ duel through five innings.

Update II: The Dodgers took advantage of a couple of defensive mistakes by the Nationals to start a big sixth inning. Kershaw reached on an error by Treinen and Dee Gordon got on when Treinen couldn’t take the flip from LaRoche in time. Crawford and Ramirez followed with two more singles, and the Dodgers led 1-0.

That was it for Treinen, who was replaced by Craig Stammen. The Dodgers managed another run-scoring grounder by Ethier and then an RBI single from Juan Uribe to extend the lead to 3-0.

Treinen finished five innings plus four batters, allowing three runs (none earned) on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts. He tossed 72 pitches, 49 for strikes. Really not a bad outing, but you know Treinen would love to get a chance to field Kershaw’s grounder to start the sixth again.

Update III: The Dodgers added another run in the seventh. Gordon tripled with two outs. Then, on a Crawford fly ball down the left field line, Scott Hairston dropped the ball, Gordon scored and the Dodgers led 4-0. It was the Nationals’ second error of the game. All of the Dodgers’ runs so far have been unearned.

Update IV: Not a good outing for Ross Detwiler. In the top of the eighth, Hanley Ramirez crushed a first pitch solo shot to deep center field. Later in the inning, Drew Butera hit a three-run shot. Dodgers led 8-0.

Update V: The Nationals rallied for three runs in the eighth. Werth now 4-for-4 and a RBI after a run-scoring single to make it Dodgers 8-1. Jose Lobaton later delivered a two-run single to cut the Dodgers advantage to 8-3.

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