|L.A. Dodgers (19-13) «||0||2||0||4||0||0||0||0||0||6||10||0|
MIAMI -- When Brad Penny threw his 110th and final pitch for one last strikeout, he pumped his fist, retrieved the ball from his catcher and stuck it in his hip pocket as he walked off the field.
Penny wanted a souvenir after striking out a career-high 14 Monday. He allowed only five baserunners in seven shutout innings to help the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-1 victory over his former team, the Florida Marlins.
"I love pitching here," Penny said. "The mound is huge, and it's perfect for a guy like me who likes to throw hard. My fastball was the best it has been all year."
Penny (4-0) walked none and gave up five hits, including two infield singles, and lowered his ERA to 1.39. Following no-decisions in his past three games, he became the first Dodgers starter to begin a season 4-0 since Kazuhisa Ishii in 2002.
Penny's strikeout total was the highest by a Dodgers pitcher since Chan Ho Park had 14 at Milwaukee on Aug. 29, 2000. Second-year Los Angeles manager Grady Little said the performance was the best he has seen by Penny.
"He played hardball tonight," Little said. "Brad didn't shy away from anyone."
The Marlins began the week leading the NL in scoring, but they're also on pace to set a major-league season record for strikeouts. In the past two games they've fanned 26 times while totaling two runs and eight hits.
LaRoche left the game in the eighth inning shortly after being hit by a pitch on the right hand. X-rays were negative.
"I'm fine," he said.
Penny came into the game with only 15 strikeouts in 38 1-3 innings, but he fanned seven of the first nine hitters and retired the first 11 before
"He had a really good fastball. They weren't hitting it, so we just kept going to it," catcher Russell Martin said.
"I don't think I threw 10 off-speed pitches," Penny said.
He made Mike Jacobs look worst. The Marlins first baseman, who has been nursing a sore right hand, sent his bat flying beyond first base swinging in vain at a 93-mph fastball in the seventh inning. The next pitch was 94 mph, and Jacobs struck out, this time flinging the bat a few feet farther.
"We didn't do a good job of making Penny get the ball down," Jacobs said. "That ball that's up looks good to swing at, and obviously a lot of us are swinging at it. You've got to make him get it down, but when a guy is throwing 97, it's tough to do that."
In the fourth inning Penny threw 11 pitches to leadoff hitter Hanley Ramirez, who struck out swinging at a 95-mph fastball. Uggla then struck out on three pitches, clocked at 95, 95 and 97.
After Cabrera singled, Jacobs went down swinging on a 96-mph fastball - Penny's 10th strikeout.
When the inning ended, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez had a lengthy conversation with plate umpire Larry Poncino. Perhaps the chat affected the size of the strike zone: Penny struck out only four of the final 13 batters he faced.
Florida's Ricky Nolasco (1-1), making his second start since coming off the disabled list, fell behind 6-0 after four innings.
"I made pitches up, and they made me pay," Nolasco said. "It puts pressure on the guys when I get us down early."
One bit of good news for the Marlins' Jorge Julio, who lost the closer's job last month, pitched for the first time since coming off the disabled list, and two hitless innings lowered his ERA from 19.06 to 14.09.
"I'm happy," Julio said. "I feel like years ago now."
|Brad Penny nearly doubles his strikeout total for the season with 14 K's against the Marlins. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||5||0||2||0||0||0||1||.235|
|Juan Pierre, CF||5||0||1||0||0||1||1||.279|
|Nomar Garciaparra, 1B||5||0||0||0||0||1||4||.276|
|Jeff Kent, 2B||5||2||2||1||0||1||0||.301|
|Luis Gonzalez, LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.279|
|Russell Martin, C||4||2||2||1||0||0||1||.321|
|Andre Ethier, RF||3||1||1||0||1||2||1||.278|
|Andy LaRoche, 3B||2||1||1||2||0||0||0||.333|
|Rudy Seanez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Penny, P||3||0||1||2||0||0||1||.250|
|a- Wilson Betemit, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.153|
|a-struck out for Penny in the 8th|
|2B - Jeff Kent (9, Nolasco)|
|3B - Russell Martin (1, Nolasco)|
|HR - Jeff Kent (3, Nolasco)|
|SF - Andy LaRoche (1)|
|RBI - Jeff Kent (18), Russell Martin (20), Andy LaRoche 2 (2), Brad Penny 2 (2)|
|SB - Andy LaRoche (1, 2nd base off Nolasco/Olivo)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Brad Penny (W,4-0)||7||5||0||0||0||14||0||1.39|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brad Penny 110-76, Rudy Seanez 24-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Penny 3-4, Rudy Seanez 1-4|
|Batters Faced - Brad Penny 26, Rudy Seanez 7|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.336|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||2||1||.232|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.349|
|Mike Jacobs, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||3||1||.283|
|a- Aaron Boone, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.314|
|Josh Willingham, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.281|
|Joe Borchard, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.213|
|Miguel Olivo, C||3||0||1||0||0||2||1||.245|
|Eric Reed, CF||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||.077|
|Ricky Nolasco, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|b- Jason Wood, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.190|
|Jorge Julio, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Alfredo Amezaga, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.232|
|Lee Gardner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Jacobs in the 9th|
|b-flied out for Nolasco in the 6th|
|c-flied out for Julio in the 8th|
|2B - Joe Borchard (4, Penny)|
|HR - Dan Uggla (6, Seanez)|
|RBI - Dan Uggla (19)|
|2-OUT RBI - Dan Uggla (3)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Ricky Nolasco (L,1-1)||6||10||6||6||2||4||1||7.30|
|IBB - Ethier by Ricky Nolasco|
|HBP - LaRoche (by Jorge Julio)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Nolasco 100-69, Jorge Julio 25-18, Lee Gardner 13-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Nolasco 6-8, Jorge Julio 4-0, Lee Gardner 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Ricky Nolasco 30, Jorge Julio 7, Lee Gardner 3|
|Attendance - 12252|
|Game Time - 2:27|
|Temperature - 75|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Rob Drake|