Andrew Toles ripped a 105-mph line drive to right field to begin the inning, but Bryce Harper corralled it.
Next, batting for himself, Clayton Kershaw struck out on six pitches and Chase Utley struck out on four to end another quick inning for Max Scherzer, who has thrown just 69 pitches.
Clayton Kershaw cursed himself for missing a slider that brought the count against Nationals catcher Pedro Severino to 3-and-1, and then served up a smashed double on a high fastball.
Danny Espinosa, the potential go-ahead run, finally struck out to end the inning as Kershaw's pitch count rose to 66.
Andrew Toles continued to do what he did throughout his debut season in the majors and led off with a hit, a single to center field.