ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—As if his 3-for-4 performance with a two-run homer wasn’t exhilarating enough, Andre Ethier hit the weight room after the game.
“Got to maintain that strength, I guess,” he said, grinning sheepishly. “Long season.”
“I don’t think I hit any Anaheim farm team too well coming up, and I guess now it’s paying off for all those bad games I had against them,” said Ethier, whose .333 batting average leads NL rookies.
Penny (9-2) allowed one run and seven hits, struck out six and walked none for his first victory in four career starts against the Angels.
The right-hander rushed out of the clubhouse after the game, saying he wanted to beat the traffic, and didn’t talk to reporters.
“He had his good stuff,” rookie catcher Russell Martin said. “He had good snap on his curveball, he was keeping his fastball down, moving it in and out. He’s throwing that ball like 95 miles an hour, and he’s keeping that ball down, it’s going to be real tough on those hitters.”
The Dodgers snapped a 15-game interleague road losing streak with the victory at Angel Stadium, site of their last interleague road win in 2004. They were coming off being swept in three games at Minnesota.
“We went a long way to get our butts kicked three games in Minnesota and we needed to rebound some way,” said Ethier, who just concluded his second month in the majors after being called up in May.
Bartolo Colon (0-4) gave up six runs and 12 hits in 7 2-3 innings to remain winless after six starts this season.
“I feel good about how things are progressing,” he said through a translator. “I feel like at least I’ve been able to use more of my pitches after each start. Tonight I was able to use every one of them and give us some innings, too.”
Colon admitted he still thinks about the inflamed right shoulder that sidelined him for two months.
“I have to be more careful,” he said. “Letting loose is still something that I need to work through in order to be a complete pitcher again. There’s still a little bit of holding back that I do sometimes.”
After the Dodgers scored three runs in the third, Colon settled down and retired 13 of his next 14 batters before giving up a leadoff double in the eighth to Nomar Garciaparra. Ethier’s fifth homer came with two outs and gave the Dodgers a 6-1 lead.
“He looked good to me,” Ethier said. “He threw a couple fastballs by me and I was wondering what was going on.”
The Dodgers used a mix of youth and experience to take a 4-0 lead. Martin’s two-out RBI double in the second scored the first run.
In the third, J.D. Drew had an RBI groundout, Jeff Kent followed with a run-scoring single and then scored on a bad cutoff throw by Vladimir Guerrero, which led to the Angels’ 30th error in 26 games in June.
Penny gave up his lone run on a double by Juan Rivera in the fourth. The right-hander then retired 11 of his next 13 batters in his last start before the All-Star rosters are announced Sunday.
“To me, it’s a no-brainer,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said of Penny’s chances. “I don’t see how there could be any question.”
The Angels fell to 0-4 against their rivals and have lost three in a row overall.
“You have a tendency to go through the motions, kind of waiting for something to happen,” Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera said. “We’re not too far back. If we win seven or eight in a row against the right teams, we’ll be right there.”
Cabrera was hit by a pitch in the first inning, extending his streak of reaching base safely to a career-best 57 consecutive games. It was the only time he got on base. … The announced crowd of 44,233 was a regular-season stadium record and the Angels’ 16th sellout. … Former Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar threw out the first pitch, easily getting it across the plate to Angels 2B Adam Kennedy.