Washington: Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw made a triumphant return to the mound on Tuesday after six weeks sidelined by a muscle strain in his upper back.
In his first start since the Dodgers` season-opener in Australia on March 22, Kershaw pitched seven shut-out innings in an 8-3 Los Angeles victory over the Washington Nationals.
Kershaw gave up nine hits and struck out nine without a walk.
The left-hander threw 23-of-28 first-pitch strikes and didn`t give up an extra-base hit.
The Dodgers provided the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner -- who inked a seven-year contract extension worth $215 million in January -- with plenty of run support.
Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-5 at the plate with a home run and two runs batted in and Drew Butera belted a three-run homer in the victory.
Dee Gordon added two hits and a brace of runs scored, while Andre Ethier finished 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Los Angeles` Yasiel Puig sat out a second straight game after his high-speed collision with the outfield wall on Sunday at Miami.