Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES >> In one of those omnipresent sponsorship tie-ins that fuel modern sports, we are nightly reminded at Dodger Stadium that Uber is “the preferred ride of the Dodgers.”But let’s be honest – that honor really belongs to Clayton Kershaw.The Dodgers rode him to another victory Monday night. Kershaw threw 106 pitches, his fastball and the temperatures spending the night in the 90s equally demoralizing hitters, and took a shutout into the seventh inning as the Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals, 4-1.The anticipated ace-on-ace showdown between Kershaw and Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg melted away. Strasburg was a last-minute scratch with a strained back. Tabbed at the last hour (literally) to replace Strasburg, Nationals right-hander Yusmeiro Petit acquitted himself well. The former Giant went six innings and allowed just five hits. Unfortunately for him, two of those were home runs – by Justin Turner and Joc Pederson – and two more were doubles (by Corey Seager). Turner drove Seager in with an RBI single after the first double.Turner heated up even before the weather did. He has an eight-game hitting streak during which he has gone 14 for 30 with five home runs and 11 RBI. Since June 4, he is batting .351 (20 for 57) with three doubles, seven home runs and 16 RBI, adding 32 points to a batting average that sat at .220 those 15 games ago.Kenley Jansen closed it out in the ninth for his 162nd career save, surpassing Eric Gagne for the franchise record. Since blowing his third save of the season on June 11 in San Francisco, Jansen has faced 16 batters over five innings and retired 15 of them, 10 by strikeout. It probably didn’t even register on Kershaw’s radar. He simply went out and did what he does every five days (give or take an extra day’s rest), pitching the Dodgers to their fourth consecutive victory and lifting them six games over .500 (39-33) for the first time all season.Kershaw’s MVP case strengthens with each start. He is now 11-1. The Dodgers have won 14 of his 15 starts (while going 25-32 when he takes the night off). Monday was the eighth time in those 15 starts he has allowed one run or less. He has allowed more than two earned runs in a start just once and he leads the majors in …. anything that matters for a starting pitcher.Deprived of a Kershaw-Strasburg matchup, Dodgers fans (and ESPN viewers) instead got to see the past two National League MVPs square off. Kershaw (the 2014 NL MVP) got the better of that matchup, striking out Bryce Harper (the 2015 NL MVP) in each of his three at-bats against him.Kershaw didn’t look mortal until the seventh inning. The Nationals had three hits in the first six innings and only one runner advanced to second base. Michael Taylor doubled with one out in the sixth. Kershaw stranded him there by striking out Jayson Werth and Harper.But in the seventh, singles put runners at the corners with one out for Anthony Rendon. He pushed an RBI single into right field, sullying Kershaw’s shutout bid. A wild pitch put the tying run in scoring position before Kershaw got out of that.