Juan Pierre had a dominating game also. Criticized for hitting the ball in the air instead of on the ground to take advantage of his speed, hit hit the ball in the air five times during the game and came away with three doubles and a triple.
Juan Gonzalez's three run homer put a cap on a six-run seventh and Yhency Brazoban and Brett Tomko iced the cake with 2.2 shutout innings and four strikeouts as the Dodgers broke out of a tie with San Diego after Pittsburgh dumnped them 4-1.
Pierre, who only managed three extra-base hits in his previous 36 games, and six for the season, tripled in the first and scored, had an RBI double in the third, doubled and scored in the sixth and doubled and scored in the seventh.
On a night like this, it seems the ball slows down and you are able to see it really good," Pierre said. "It was just one of those nights." His 4-for-5 night raised his average 12 points to .286.
The game came apart for Washington in the seventh inning. Leading 3-0, Penny doubled over the left fielder's head for his second hit of the night. Pierre's third double was lined to left and Penny had to hold third base and the Nationals walked Rafael Furcal to load the bases.
Garciaparra scuffed a little grounder toward third and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman scooped it up on the run, made a full 360-degree turn and threw wildly to the place in an attempted force. Penny and Pierre scored on the play and the merry-go-round was in motion.
Jeff Kent grounded an RBI single to left, scoring Furcal. Luis Gonzalez then launched a rocket to right that whanged off the ball wall of the bullpen to quicking run the score to 9-0.
Tony Abreu's second hit of the game, a double, in the eighth preceeded the club's fifth double of the evening, this one by Furcal that made it 10-0 and manager Grady Little replaced some of the veterans for the final innings.
Penny sailed into the eighth, having allowed three scattered singles and no more than one baserunner in any inning. After recording his fourth strikeout he hit Austin Kearns and gave up a ground ball single to Rafael Belliard.
In came Yhency Brazoban, carrying his bloated 27.00 earned run average. He wasted no time in striking out the only two Nationals he faced and then Brett Tomko worked the final two innings, allowing a double and striking out a pair.
"He's only worried about getting people out," Little said after the game. "He's proud when he gets them out on one or two pitches. That's all a part of maturation."
Pierre, with four extra base hits in four trips, had a chance to tie the major league and Dodger record of five in a game set by Steve Garvey, but flew softly to centerfield his final time at bat. Rafael Furcal followed with an RBI double, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.
The Dodgers inability to hit with runners in scoring position was nowhere in sight this evening as half of their 16 hits, 8-for-14, came with runners in scoring position.
Arizona kept pace with the Dodgers by beating Philadelphia 11-5 and remained a half-game behind. The Padres are down a full game after their loss and the Giants, who dropped a 5-4 game to the Mets, are now tied with Colorado 5 1/2 back.
Derek Lowe (4-5, 3.64 ERA) opposes Washington's Mike Bacsik (1-0, 1.98) in the second game of the three-game set tonight.
Score by innings Los angeles 101 001 610-10 Washington 000 000 000- 0 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Pierre cf 5 2 4 1 .286 Furcal ss 4 1 1 1 .306 Tomko p 0 0 0 0 .000 Garciaparra 1b 5 2 3 2 .289 Kent 2b 4 1 1 1 .286 Martinez 2b 1 0 0 0 .158 Gonzalez lf 4 1 2 3 .280 Clark lf 1 0 0 0 .234 Martin c 5 0 1 1 .304 Ethier rf 4 0 0 0 .273 Abreu 3b 4 2 2 0 .313 Penny p 2 1 2 0 .273 Brazoban p 0 0 0 0 .000 Betemit ph-3b 1 0 0 0 .186 Totals 40 10 16 9 Washington 31 0 5 0 2B- Pierre 3 (8), Furcal (10), Penny (1). 3B- Pierre (2). HR- Gonzalez (6). RBI- Pierre (13), Furcal (15), Garciaparra 2 (30), Kent (30), Gonzalez 3 (19), Martin (34). LOB- Los Angeles 5, Washington 6. DP- Furcal and Garciaparra. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Penny (7-1) 6.1 4 0-0 1 4 2.06 Brazoban 0.1 0 0-0 0 2 16.20 Tomko 2.0 1 0-0 0 2 5.87 T- 2:34. Att- 16.483.Dodger Blue Notes-- Jason Schmidt makes his first Minor League rehab assignment tonight for Inland Empire but despite the results, he won't be ready to pitch Saturday in Pittsburgh. However, Little said nice things about about right-hander D.J. Houlton, who most fans have forgotten since his single year with the Dodgers in 2005. He worked 6.1 innings last night for Las Vegas, allowing six hits and three runs while striking out six. He is 5-2 with a 3.05 ERA, excellent for the hit-happy Pacific Coast League. Hong-Chih Kuo, the early favorite to win the fifth-starter job, allowed four earned runs in 4.2 innings Monday. Kuo threw 80 pitches and struck out five while walking two. Kuo is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in seven games (five starts) for Las Vegas. He's pitched twice in relief for the Dodgers this year, allowing four earned runs in 2.1 innings. Chad Billingsley was ruled out a candidate for the spot even though Billingsley had a 40-pitch relief appearance Saturday against the Chicago Cubs and came back with another inning Sunday. "For his benefit, he would probably be better off if he gets stretched out a little bit farther before we throw him into the fire like that," Little said. "But we also have to think about our situation in the bullpen. I would call him a quality innings-eater." ...When a decision is made, the club will go with a dozen pitchers, sending either Andy LaRoche or Tony Abreu back to Las Vegas. ...Russell Martin, who wasn't even on the All-Star ballot last year, ranks fourth in online voting at catcher for the National League All-Star team, the highest ranking of any Dodger. Fans help him out by voting up to 25 times on Dodgers.com until Thursday, June 28, at 8:59 p.m. PT. ...Veteran catcher Kelly Stinnett retired Tuesday to spend more time with his family. He was replaced on the roster by Jacksonville catcher Octavio Martinez. Three days earlier, the Dodgers traded journeyman infielder Tomas Perez to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Dwayne Pollok. ...Reliever Chin-hui Tsao, on the disabled list after feeling shoulder irritation while warming up May 22, played catch Tuesday for the first time since. Tsao threw softly and reported no problems. ...Eric Stults, who won two games last September, beating the Mets in a key game, has been taken out of the Las Vegas rotation and he allowed six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings in relief of Kuo on Monday. ...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.