Penny on the money

first_img“Our pitching was unbelievable,” Garciaparra said. “Brad did a great job and Broxton and Saito finished it. They’re a good offensive team and to be able to shut them down, that’s huge.” It figured to be a big night for Rockies starter Jason Hirsh, who made his Dodger Stadium debut. Hirsh, who attended St.Francis High of La Canada and Cal Lutheran University and makes his offseason home in Burbank, fared well in his 2007 debut when he beat SanDiego last Friday. With supporters cheering from a club-level suite, Hirsh (1-1) did well early but got rattled in the third inning due to a combination of heads-up base- running and timely veteran hitting by the Dodgers. After Penny stranded sixRockies in the first threeinnings, the Dodgers scored three times in the third. The two-out rally started with consecutive singles by Pierre and Martin, who then executed a perfect double-steal in which Hirsh, oblivious to the runners leading off, could only hold the ball and watch. Garciaparra followed with a sharp single to right to score both runners. “I did a little bit of homework before the game,” Pierre said. “(Hirsh) held the ball longer than I expected. I thought I was hung out to dry but he was committed to throwing to the plate. … I’ve told Russ to pay attention when he’s on base behind me. Every time he gets on, I make eye contact and say, `Heads up.’ I really didn’t think he would go. When I slid and looked back and saw him slide, I said, `Wow.”‘ Garciaparra moved to second on a balk and scored when Jeff Kent singled for a 3-0 Dodger lead. “That whole inning was huge,” Garciaparra said, “and it allowed Brad to continue what he was doing and it gave him some breathing room.” It seemed that the Rockies might bury Penny early, in a 24-pitch first inning, but with the bases loaded, Matt Holliday struck out and Brad Hawpe grounded out. “I wasn’t missing by much,” Penny said. “I was right around the plate. I got out of it, and after that I was fine.” rich.hammond@dailynews.com (818) 713-3611 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Penny (2-0) walked the bases loaded in the first inning but cruised after that and helped himself with a couple of quality defensive plays. The Dodgers did all their damage offensively in the third inning, when Juan Pierre and Russell Martin executed the perfect double-steal and Nomar Garciaparra drove them in with a two-run single. Penny retired 11 consecutive batters until, with his 108th pitch, he hit Chris Iannetta with a pitch and was pulled in favor of Jonathan Broxton. Penny allowed two hits, walked four and struck out three. “The guy was outstanding,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “From the fourth inning on, he hit a groove and he kept getting stronger and stronger.” Broxton recorded five consecutive outs and Takashi Saito pitched the ninth inning for his fifth save. The Rockies totaled only two hits, and none after Garrett Atkins’ one-out single in the third inning. From a legal standpoint, brothers Charlie and Dick Monfort are the owners of the Colorado Rockies. It only seems as though Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny has held a proverbial deed on the franchise. Penny, given another chance to conquer the Rockies, wobbled early and struggled to locate his fastball, but ultimately tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings as the Dodgers won 3-0 in front of 35,852 at Dodger Stadium. Throughout his seven-year major-league career, Penny has made a hobby out of baffling the Rockies. Penny has an 11-2record and a 2.59 ERA in 17career games against Colorado. Thanks to a combination of solid pitching, a heady double-steal and timely defense, the Dodgers took two of threegames from the Rockies and have won six of their past seven overall. last_img

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