WASHINGTON (AP) – John Patterson struck out a career-high 13 in his first complete game shutout, and Brad Wilkerson hit a grand slam to lead Washington past the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-0 Thursday night for the Nationals’ first series victory in a month.

Patterson allowed four hits and no walks, facing just two batters over the minimum and never allowing a runner past second base. He struck out everyone in the Dodgers starting lineup at least once, getting Jeff Kent, Jose Valentin, Oscar Robles and Dioner Navarro twice each.

And for a change, Patterson (5-3) got some support from a Nationals offense that hadn’t scored more than four runs in the team’s previous 15 games. He has a 1.02 ERA with 54 strikeouts over his past six starts – yet he’s just 2-1 over that span.

Wilkerson’s homer off reliever Duaner Sanchez on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the eighth was Washington’s first grand slam of the season; it was the only club in the majors without one.

The Nationals took two of three games from Los Angeles to halt a slide in which they had lost seven consecutive series since sweeping the Chicago Cubs on July 1-3.

Washington scored twice off Dodgers starter Brad Penny (5-7) in the fourth inning, with help from some unlikely sources: Vinny Castilla and Cristian Guzman, two free agent signings who have been struggling.

Castilla, who entered the night batting .108 over his last 12 games, hit an RBI double to make it 1-0. He moved to third on a groundout, then scored on a groundout by Guzman, who came into the game hitting .189 and collected his first RBI since June 20.

Guzman drove in another run in the eighth by singling through a draw-in infield off Sanchez, who walked two batters to load the bases. After Patterson flied out, Wilkerson hit his seventh homer of the season to right field.

Penny, who left after giving up a leadoff single to Preston Wilson in the eighth, allowed two runs and nine hits with eight strikeouts.

He was good, but not nearly as good as Patterson.

By the fourth inning, the lanky right-hander had many in the crowd of 35,484 rising to clap and yell whenever he got two strikes on a batter. Getting ahead in the count and mixing his pitches, Patterson allowed a single to Cesar Izturis leading off the game – he was erased by a double play – a single to Antonio Perez in the second, a double to Izturis in the sixth that glanced off left fielder Wilson’s glove and a single to Robles in the ninth.

Otherwise, he kept the Dodgers guessing, getting Robles looking on a 75 mph changeup to end the sixth, and Navarro swinging at a 94 mph fastball to end the eighth. It was the Nationals’ first complete game shutout of the season.

His previous career high of 10 strikeouts came two starts ago against Houston on July 24.

Notes: Valentin crashed into the wall in left to catch Castilla’s deep drive in the sixth. … Umpire Jerry Crawford appeared to hurt his right leg while making a call at second base on a double play in the first inning. He was checked by a trainer and stayed in the game.

AP-ES-08-04-05 2155EDT


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