Kemp delivers in his return, Dodgers crush Nationals

Matt Kemp did not face the crowd he expected when he returned to the dugout after his first at bat off the disabled list in the second inning.

The stairs were empty and a pair teammates were firmly entrenched on the bench on the back wall that faced the field.

When Kemp finally made his way down the stairs all smiles and looking for some high fives, they couldn't help ditching the silent treatment after Kemp launched a home run in his first major league at bat since July 5.

Kemp's solo shot ignited a seven-run rally that led the Dodgers to a 9-2 win to finish off a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals.

"That's a grest team over there," Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw said. "For us to come in here, play like we did and get some wins against some upper- echelon pitchers like we did, it's a good sign for us."

After missing 11 games with a shoulder injury, Kemp had three hits and knocked in three runs with a home run and a double. Kemp did leave the game in the top of the ninth inning. He appeared to roll his ankle on a play at the plate.

Kershaw (9-6) gave up two runs on two hits and no walks with nine strikeouts in seven innings to win for the fourth time in five starts.

The Dodgers tagged Jordan Zimmermann (12-5) for seven runs on eight hits and two walks in only two innings, his shortest career outing. He also lost at Nationals Park for the first time since May 17, 2012, a streak that spanned 22 starts.

Jayson Werth crushed a pair of solo home runs to account for Washington's scoring.

Kemp led off the second inning and lifted a high slider deep into the left- field seats to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

A.J. Ellis followed the blast with a base hit and moved to third on Mark Ellis' double. Kershaw grounded out to score A.J. Ellis and Crawford knocked in Mark Ellis with a single to push the lead to three.

Nick Punto then walked and, two batters later, Hanley Ramirez slammed his 10th home run to the left-field bullpen to double the lead and make the score 6-0.

Los Angeles tacked on one more run in the second. Andre Ethier worked a walk and scored on Kemp's double, making the score 7-0.

"The two home runs were hanging sliders," Zimmermann said. "When I did make some quality pitches, they put had swings on them. They're hot right now and it's just one of those days."

Jayson Werth put Washington on the board with a home run in the bottom of the second, but the Dodgers posted two more runs in the fourth. Adrian Gonzalez singled and moved to third on a Ramirez single. Ethier grounded out to score Gonzalez and Kemp singled home Ramirez.

Werth capped the scoring with another solo home run in the seventh inning.

Game Notes

Prior to the game, Los Angeles optioned outfielder/first baseman Scott Van Slyke to Triple-A Albuquerque to open a roster spot for Kemp ... Since June 21, the Dodgers are 20-5 ... Kershaw is 9-0 with a 1.70 earned run average (18 earned runs in 95 2/3 innings) in his last 13 starts against teams from the National League East ... Kershaw has gone at least seven innings in 17 of 21 starts this season ... Zimmermann was 14-0 with a 2.60 ERA in his last 22 home starts before Sunday ... Washington's Ian Desmond went 0-for-4 to end his eight-game hitting streak.