LOS ANGELES – Clayton Kershaw returned to MVP form on Wednesday night, tossing eight scoreless innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers shutout the Washington Nationals 3-0 for the second consecutive game.

Kershaw (10-6) retired the first 16 batters he faced before allowing a one-out double to Nats centerfielder Michael Taylor in the sixth inning. The reigning National League MVP would settle for a three-hitter, striking out eight batters over eight scoreless innings.

"I had a lot of things go my way which is always nice," Kershaw said of his performance. "I had pretty decent command and got some quick outs."

Kershaw is now a perfect 2-0 against Washington this season with a 0.00 ERA. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner is 5-0 with a 0.75 ERA in his last six starts since July 8.

"It seemed like everything was sharp tonight," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of his ace. "Tonight it looked like it came out easy and he was able to use all of his pitches."

Jordan Zimmerman nearly matched Kershaw, but made one mistake in the third inning, a two-out RBI single to Carl Crawford that scored Joc Pederson.

"My fastball command was good," Zimmerman said. "I made one mistake and when you're going against a guy like Clayton you have to be perfect."

Zimmerman (8-8) allowed just one run on two hits with one walk and a season-high nine strikeouts in seven strong innings for Washington.

Kiké Hernandez made two sparkling defensive plays in a rare start at shortstop to keep Kershaw's perfect game in tact in the early innings.

"The harder they hit it at me, the more I like it," Hernandez said of the balls hit to short. "I was just trying to keep myself out of the 'error' column, but I had flashbacks of that game in New York."

Kershaw previously took a perfect game into the seventh inning against the New York Mets on July 23 before Curtis Granderson broke it up with a single to right field.

Kenley Jansen struck out Nationals' slugger Bryce Harper to end the game, earning his 22nd save of the season in 23 chances.

"Bryce Harper is one of the great hitters in the game right now," Jansen said. "He will get you if you make a mistake, so you have to mix it up on him and get him out."

Harper finished 0-for-4 on the night with two strikeouts and saw his hitting streak snapped at 10 games.

Kershaw, who leads the league in strikeouts with 205, struck out the side in the second inning to surpass the 200-strikeout mark for the sixth consecutive season.

"I like consistency," Kershaw continued. "When you look around at Mark Buehrle and Dan Haren, I have a lot of respect for those guys. Hopefully in 10 years or so, I'll be in that category."

Kershaw joins Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale in the pantheon of Dodgers greats who have recorded 200 or more strikeouts in six seasons. Kershaw also joins Koufax and Tom Seaver as the only pitchers in the modern era to accomplish the feat in six or more consecutive seasons.