- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - After Max Scherzer’s latest impressive start Sunday, he could only accept defeat and call his opponent “the best” in the game.

Scherzer allowed one run in six innings, but was outdone by Zack Greinke, who worked eight scoreless to extend his scoreless streak to 43 2-3 innings as the Washington Nationals fell 5-0 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I thought I did pitch well - giving up only one run is good,” Scherzer said. “But good is not good enough when you’re going up against Greinke and what he’s doing right now. He just completely shut us down.”

Greinke (9-2) struck out a season-high 11 a day after Clayton Kershaw struck out 14 as the NL West-leading Dodgers took two of three from the NL East-leading Nationals.

Things don’t get any easier for Washington, which welcomes the New York Mets for a three-game series beginning Monday. The Mets’ probable starters in that set average an ERA of 2.75.

But no one is going better than Greinke (9-2), who leads the big leagues with a 1.30 ERA. His scoreless innings string is the longest in the majors since Orel Hershiser set the major league record of 59 shutout innings in 1988 with the Dodgers.

“Do you want us to duck tail and run?” said Nationals cleanup hitter Clint Robinson, who singled in three at-bats against Greinke. “I’ve said before, this is the big leagues, that’s part of it. These guys are the best in the world for a reason, and you’ve just got to go out there and rise up to the challenge.”

Greinke allowed three hits and walked one on 119 pitches.

The Nationals only finally reached second base in the ninth inning against reliever Kenley Jansen when Bryce Harper singled and reached second on a throwing error.

“You just have to get them in the strike zone and then, you know, put a good swing on it and hope something good happens,” Robinson said. “(Greinke) and Kershaw don’t pitch to patterns.”

Scherzer (10-8) allowed his only run in the fourth inning when Andre Ethier doubled, reached third on a sacrifice and scored on a two-out wild pitch to Alberto Callaspo.

He left with a 2.09 ERA and a loser of three of his last four starts, despite allowing only 10 runs in 27 ? innings. His start last Sunday ruled him out of Tuesday’s All-Star game, which Greinke started.

“I love facing the best,” Scherzer said. “Right now, he’s the best.”

TREINEN’S TROUBLES

Los Angeles broke away with four runs in the ninth off Blake Treinen. Ethier and A.J. Ellis hit RBI singles and Yasiel Puig added a two-run single.

“You just go out there and try to do your job as best as you can like you do any other time,” said Treinen, whose ERA rose nearly a full run to 4.39. “It just didn’t really happen.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: 2B Danny Espinosa was in the lineup after leaving Saturday’s game with what turned out to be cramps. … CF Denard Span, sidelined since July 6 with a back injury, said that he’s feeling better after having cortisone injections to try to relieve the pain.

UP NEXT

Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-4, 3.99) is 8-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 14 career starts against the Mets.

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