Dodgers 10, Nationals 0
“I just threw strikes with all three of my pitches,” said Penny, who contributed two of the Dodgers’ 16 hits. “I guessed right (at the plate). … I pitched great last year in the first half, too. I’m not doing a whole lot different.”
Penny (7-1) struck out four and walked one, combining with two relievers on the Dodgers’ third shutout. He has yet to surrender a home run in 70 innings, making him the only pitcher in the majors who has pitched at least 40 innings without allowing one.
“Too much for us today—dominant,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said of Penny. “Command of every one of his pitches and they are above average pitches, every one of them. … We had no chance.”
Pierre, who had three extra-base hits in his previous 36 games, hit a leadoff triple in the first and doubled in the third, fifth and seventh innings off Jason Simontacchi.
“Anytime you have a night like that, you’re able to slow the ball down and see the pitches real good,” Pierre said. “It was just one of those nights when I was hitting the fastball, curveball, change up—I hit every pitch good. It was one of those nights you have to take advantage of.”
Pierre, who had a career-high 13 triples last season with the Chicago Cubs, entered Tuesday’s game with six extra-base hits this season—including five doubles. His 4-for-5 night raised his average 12 points to .286.
“It was probably the best I’ve felt at the plate as a Dodger,” Pierre said.
Luis Gonzalez hit a three-run homer for Los Angeles, which has won five of six.
Washington, coming off a 5-2 road trip, lost for the third time in four games at RFK Stadium.
Simontacchi (2-3) got behind early, when Pierre hit the game’s second pitch for a triple into the right-field corner and then scored on Nomar Garciaparra’s one-out single.
The Dodgers went up 2-0 in the third on an RBI double by Pierre. Russell Martin singled home Garciaparra in the sixth.
Simontacchi went a season-high 6 1-3 innings, departing after loading the bases in the seventh and setting the stage for a six-run inning.
Reliever Winston Abreu got Garciaparra to hit a bouncer, but third baseman Ryan Zimmerman’s off-balance throw on the infield hit sailed wide of home plate and two runs scored on the play. Jeff Kent followed with an RBI single for a 6-0 lead before Gonzalez drove a 2-1 pitch over the right-field fence for his sixth homer.
Simontacchi gave up six runs on 11 hits, walked one and struck out two.
The Nationals didn’t have more than one baserunner in an inning until the seventh, when Penny hit Austin Kearns with a pitch and Ronnie Belliard singled. Yhency Brazoban replaced Penny and struck out Brian Schneider and Nook Logan swinging.
Dodgers manager Grady Little said Penny flourished because he’s no longer concerned with overpowering opponents.
“He’s worried about getting people out,” Little said. “He’s proud when he gets them out on one or two pitches. That’s all a part of maturation.”
Rafael Furcal doubled home a run in the eighth, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.
Pierre has 118 career hits against the Washington franchise, his most against any club. … The Dodgers’ first-inning run broke a string of nine straight games in which the Nationals had scored first, the longest in the major leagues this season. … When Simontacchi picked Pierre off second in the third, it was his third successful pickoff at second base this season.