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Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS -

NA­TION­ALS: In Game 2, RHP Tan­ner Roark (16-10, 2.83 ERA) starts for the Na­tion­als, tak­ing the as­sign­ment that likely would have gone to Stephen Stras­burg if he were healthy. DODGERS: LHP Rich Hill (3-2, 1.84 ERA in six starts af­ter a trade from Oak­land) will pitch for the Dodgers. He was let go from Wash­ing­ton’s Triple-A Syra­cuse af­fil­i­ate last year.

wasn’t easy,” Kershaw said. “As close as you can bend with­out break­ing, I guess.”

His work done, Kershaw was able to re­lax in the dugout, chew­ing gum and blow­ing bub­bles while watch­ing re­liev­ers Joe Blan­ton, Grant Day­ton, Pe­dro Baez and Ken­ley Jansen com­bine to give up one hit over four score­less in­nings. Jansen got his first five-out save since April.

“What­ever we’ve got to do to win, right? Those guys are up to the chal­lenge,” Sea­ger said about LA’s bullpen. “And they’ve been up to it all year.”

Game 2 in the best-of-five matchup is Satur­day at Wash­ing­ton.

Fac­ing the NL East champs, Kershaw’s three runs might not sound like an ex­or­bi­tant to­tal, but an op­po­nent scored that many only once in the lefty’s pre­ced­ing 16 starts. And there was a stopand-start feel to the evening, be­cause of plenty of boo-in­duc­ing mound vis­its from catcher Yas­mani Gran­dal.

“I wanted to be sure on the signs. We were try­ing to change ‘em up pretty often,” said Kershaw, who im­proved to 3-6 in the play­offs , a far cry from his reg­u­lar-sea­son record of 126-60 with a 2.37 ERA and three Cy Young Awards. “It was mainly that I had so many guys on sec­ond base.” Cer­tainly did. Kershaw left the bases loaded in the sec­ond, and stranded two run­ners in both the third and fifth — strik­ing out Danny Espinosa along the way each time.

“We had him on the ropes a cou­ple times,” Na­tion­als man­ager Dusty Baker said, “and, you know, the big hit just es­caped us.”

There was also a baserun­ning blun­der by NL MVP con­tender Daniel Mur­phy in the sev­enth in­ning.

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