By BETH HARRIS, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zack Greinke pitched 5 1-3 strong innings in his first start since April 11 and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 on Wednesday night.
Greinke came off the disabled list earlier in the day, returning three weeks sooner than expected from a broken left clavicle after a confrontation with San Diego's Carlos Quentin last month.
The right-hander was expected to be out eight weeks. He underwent surgery on April 13 to fix the injury with a metal plate used to stabilize the break.
Greinke (2-0) made one rehab appearance last Friday for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, and the Dodgers decided he was ready to rejoin them.
He proved them right, allowing one run and five hits, striking out four and walking none. Los Angeles went 10-19 since his injury.
Greinke helped himself with a RBI single with two outs in the second that extended the Dodgers' lead to 2-0.
Brandon League pitched the ninth to earn his ninth save in 10 chances, helping the Dodgers close out the series 2-1 and giving them consecutive series victories for just the third time this season. They are 19-4 against the Nationals at home since the start of the 2006 season.
Los Angeles held Washington to one run in the Nationals' last 22 innings of the series.
Ross Detwiler (2-4) gave up two runs and six hits in three innings — his shortest outing of the season. The left-hander walked two and struck out none. The Nationals fell to 3-5 when he starts. Detwiler is 0-6 in six career road starts against NL West opponents.
Nationals star Bryce Harper returned as a pinch-hitter in the ninth for the first time since cutting his chin and hurting his shoulder in a collision with the outfield wall on Monday. He grounded out to first base.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the first on Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single up the middle with two outs. Matt Kemp scored after extending his hitting streak to 14 games with a ground-rule double.
Andre Ethier led off the second with a single. Scott Van Slyke walked and then Juan Uribe hit into a double play. Greinke followed with a single to right field, his second hit of the season.
The Dodgers made it 3-1 in the eighth on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Carl Crawford.
Washington trailed 2-1 in the fourth on Adam LaRoche's homer that extended his 12-game hitting streak.
The Nats had the tying run at third base in the eighth. Steve Lombardozzi singled off Kenley Jansen to open the inning before being replaced by pinch-runner Eury Perez. He took third on Ryan Zimmerman's single that dropped in shallow right field. Jansen then retired three consecutive batters to end the inning.
Notes: Nationals C Wilson Ramos left the game after he singled in the fourth. ... Detwiler walked Scott Van Slyke in the second, snapping a streak of 20.0 consecutive innings without a walk issued by the Nationals staff. ... The Nats have hit at least one home run in 69 consecutive series dating to Sept. 12-15, 2011. ... Dodgers LHP Ted Lilly made his first rehab start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga since going on the DL with a strained right rib cage. He hasn't pitched since April 29 against Colorado. ... Since Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw threw 132 pitches in a 2-0 win on Tuesday, he will be moved back a day and will pitch on Monday in Milwaukee. RHP Matt Magill will start Sunday in Atlanta.
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