(SportsNetwork.com) - The National League's reigning Cy Young Award winner faces a 25-year-old making his first major league start on Tuesday night, when the Los Angeles Dodgers visit Nationals Park for the middle test of a three- game set with the Washington Nationals.
It's the first appearance in six weeks for the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, who opened his season with a 3-1 defeat of Arizona on March 22 in Australia, but sustained a muscle strain in his back and was subsequently shelved.
He made two rehabilitation starts with the Los Angeles Single-A affiliate at Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga and allowed three runs while striking out 15 batters in 10 innings.
Kershaw has struck out 26 batters in 23 2/3 innings against the Nationals in his last three starts against Washington - all of which have ended in wins.
He's faced by right-hander Blake Treinen, who was drafted by Oakland in 2011 and ultimately sent to Washington as part of a three-team trade that also included the Seattle Mariners.
Treinen, who is starting in place of the injured Ross Detwiler, has appeared in three games and pitched a composite 6 2/3 innings while allowing a single run on 11 hits and striking out seven batters while walking two.
He's had a 14-15 record across 72 games in three seasons in the minors, including a 1.59 ERA in four starts this spring with Triple-A Syracuse.
The Dodgers' Yasiel Puig missed the series opener and is questionable for game two after colliding with an outfield wall on Sunday.
"He's not feeling perfect, really sore," manager Don Mattingly said.
On Monday, Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa belted two-run homers nearly six hours apart as the Nationals outlasted a lengthy rain delay for a 4-0 victory.
Washington's bullpen shut down the Dodgers to the tune of three hits over the final five innings after Jordan Zimmermann had his start cut short. Zimmermann scattered five hits prior to the 3-hour, 17- minute delay. When play resumed just before midnight (et) Aaron Barrett (2-0) took over on the hill and tossed a 1-2-3 inning to earn the win.
Washington owned a 2-0 lead at the time of the stoppage, courtesy of Rendon's two-run homer off Zack Greinke in the bottom of the first inning. Denard Span greeted Greinke with a double before Rendon clubbed a low slider over the wall in left center for his fifth home run of the season.
Greinke (5-1) allowed five hits overall in a three-inning stint, which ended a streak of 18 consecutive starts for the Los Angeles hurler in which he permitted two or less runs while working at least five innings -- the longest such stretch in the majors since 1914.
Los Angeles was 5-1 against the Nats last season.