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Kershaw wins 17th as Dodgers beat Nationals 4-1

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Clayton Kershaw pitched eight strong innings for his major league leading 17th win and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 Tuesday night.

Kershaw (17-3) gave up three hits and one run, walked two and struck out eight to win his third straight start and lower his ML-leading ERA to 1.70. He also went 1 for 2 with a run scored at the plate.

Doug Fister (12-6) lost his third consecutive start. He went five-plus innings, gave up 10 hits, four runs, walked two and struck out two.

Bryce Harper homered in the seventh for the Nationals' only run of the game. It was the first homer by a lefty against Kershaw this season.

With the win, the Dodgers (78-61) moved one game behind the Nationals (78-59) for the National League's best record.


Orioles beat Reds 5-4 to extend lead in AL East

BALTIMORE (AP) - Bud Norris pitched six shutout innings, Nelson Cruz notched his career-high 91st RBI during a four-run first, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 Tuesday night.

Jonathan Schoop homered for the Orioles, who extended their lead in the AL East to a season-high 9 1/2 games. Baltimore endured two rain delays totaling more two hours and withstood an eighth-inning grand slam by Jay Bruce to notch its seventh win in nine games.

Norris (12-8) allowed four hits, struck out seven and walked one. He was 0-3 with a 5.11 ERA in his previous seven starts against Cincinnati.

Bruce's third career slam, off Darren O'Day, got the Reds to 5-4.


Brewer, Hokies eager for test vs. No. 8 Buckeyes

(AP) - Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer hasn't had to wait long for his first huge stage.

The Hokies play at No. 8 Ohio State on Saturday night.

Virginia Tech is no stranger to big games, but has struggled to show it belongs among the elite in recent years. The Hokies have lost six of their last seven games against ranked opponents, many of them in lopsided fashion.

Brewer says a victory before 105,000 fans at Ohio Stadium would be "huge" to show that the Hokies are still a powerhouse program. The Buckeyes have won 25 consecutive regular season games, the longest such streak in the nation, and 64 in a row at home against unranked non-conference foes.

Says Brewer: "This is what college football is all about."


Only 2 Chase spots up for grabs at Richmond

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - There are only two spots in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship up for grabs headed into the regular season finale at Richmond, where a first-time winner this season could snag a dramatic last-minute berth.

Kasey Kahne did it Sunday night at Atlanta, where his first win of the season earned him an automatic berth in the 16-driver field. Matt Kenseth, who is winless on the year, also became eligible based on points.

There are only four drivers who could possibly get in on points if they don't win - Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson. Only Newman controls his own fate. If he finishes 41st or better, he makes the Chase.


Turner Scott Motorsports folds Hornaday's team

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Turner Scott Motorsports has shut down the Truck Series team driven by Ron Hornaday Jr., a move that required the organization to release 18 employees.

Hornaday was fourth in the Truck Series standings when team co-owner Harry Scott announced last week that entry would not race Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Ben Kennedy and Cameron Hayley did compete for Turner Scott on Sunday.

Kyle Larson and Dylan Kwasniewski raced Saturday at Atlanta in the Nationwide Series race for Turner Scott.

Turner Scott co-owners Harry Scott and Steve Turner are at odds over the management of the race team, and each has filed legal action against each other.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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