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Kershaw snatches 15th win

AP

The first-place Dodgers have staged plenty of comebacks this season. Just not after seven innings.

They snapped an 0-for-46 skid with two runs in the eighth and Clayton Kershaw outdueled Tyson Ross for a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.

“We need wins no matter what,” said Kershaw, whose team is 3½ games ahead of San Francisco. “The Giants are playing better right now.”

Kershaw (15-3) allowed one run and three hits in eight innings, striking out 10 and walking two. He tied Johnny Cueto, Wily Peralta and Adam Wainwright for the major league lead in victories. The left-hander was originally scheduled to start Friday, but he was moved up to give Zack Greinke extra rest for his sore elbow.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody like this guy,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Tomorrow will be on to the next one and he’ll be on a mission for that. A huge competitor.”

Pitching on regular rest after Monday’s day off, Kershaw bounced back from losing his previous start against Milwaukee after winning his 11 previous decisions. The two-time Cy Young Award winner retired 12 in a row before giving up his first hit — a single by Ross — with two outs in the sixth.

“My command was lacking the first couple of innings, but I was able to keep the pitch count down,” Kershaw said.

Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth to earn his 36th save.

Ross (11-12) held his own against Kershaw, retiring 12 straight after giving up his second hit in the third. The right-hander allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings, struck out eight and walked two.

“You want to be out there battling the other guy and putting up zeroes and pitching deep into games,” Ross said. “Kershaw’s having an MVP-type year, and he was just a little better.”

Nationals 1, D-Backs 0

In Washington, Denard Span scored from second on third baseman Jordan Pacheco’s throwing error in the ninth inning, and the Nationals stretched their winning streak to 10 games by beating Arizona.

Five of Washington’s last six wins have come in its final at-bat, and the streak is tied for the franchise record. Kansas City is the only other team to win 10 consecutive games this year.

Cubs 2, Giants 1 (susp. game)

Giants 5, Cubs 3

In Chicago, Buster Posey went 4-for-4 with his 14th homer, leading Madison Bumgarner and San Francisco to the win in the nightcap of an unusual doubleheader.

Pablo Sandoval added three hits and two RBIs as the Giants rebounded from a loss earlier in the day in the resumption of their suspended game in the series opener.

Bumgarner (14-9) struck out 12 in seven innings. He allowed three runs and seven hits.

The long day started with a rain delay of 1 hour, 57 minutes, and then the teams played the final 4½ innings of a game the Cubs thought they had won 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Chicago starter Tsuyoshi Wada (3-1) earned the win, working five scoreless innings and allowing six hits. He struck out three and didn’t issue a walk.

Braves 8, Reds 0

In Cincinnati, Justin Upton extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a bases-loaded single during Atlanta’s decisive third inning, and the Braves extended their offensive resurgence.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Rays 1, Tigers 0

In St. Petersburg, Florida, David Price allowed only a first-inning RBI triple to Brandon Guyer in his first start against his former team, and Alex Cobb and Tampa Bay beat Detroit to avoid a three-game sweep.

Angels 2, Red Sox 0

In Boston, Matt Shoemaker pitched one-hit ball into the eighth, helping Los Angeles complete a four-game sweep at Fenway Park.

Yankees 3, Astros 0

In New York, Brandon McCarthy pitched a four-hitter and the Yankees avoided a three-game sweep.

New York right fielder Ichiro Suzuki was 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly.

Twins 4, Indians 1

In Minneapolis, Kennys Vargas homered and sparked rallies with two other hits, leading the Twins past Corey Kluber and Cleveland.