Dodgers beat Nats to improve to record 13-0 at home

LOS ANGELES -- Joe Torre settled back into his chair in the cramped manager's office at Dodger Stadium for his postgame interview when he was interrupted by his boss, there to offer a congratulatory handshake.

Torre grasped general manager Ned Colletti's hand firmly and then gave him a carbon copy of the Dodgers' lineup card as a gesture of appreciation.

Torre's Dodgers broke the modern major league record for a home winning streak to start a season with their 13th straight victory, 10-3 over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night. Torre's cap from the game will be sent to Cooperstown, according to a team official.

"Streaks are fine, but we have more important things in mind," Torre said. "Hopefully, it's just a stepping stone on the way to something more important. The fact that we're playing well takes precedence over anything else. The good part about this thing is that this is about winning games, which is what we try to do every day."

Washington's Ryan Zimmerman has a streak of his own. He extended his franchise-record hitting streak to 24 games with a single in the first inning.

Rafael Furcal scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning on Daniel Cabrera's bases-loaded walk of Andre Ethier, and the Dodgers broke it open with seven in the sixth, including a two-run double by Manny Ramirez and a two-run single by James Loney to surpass the 12-0 home start of the 1911 Detroit Tigers.

"Everywhere I go, all people are talking about is the streak because it's the hot topic," Torre said. "I'm sure these guys enjoy being be the team that owns the streak all by themselves -- and maybe like the 1911 Tigers, not be around when it's broken."

The Dodgers' seventh straight victory made them a major league-best 21-8 overall, matching their best start since the 1977 club started out 23-6 and won an NL pennant in Tommy Lasorda's first season as manager. The 1983 Dodgers also were 21-8.

The six teams the defending NL West champions have played so far -- San Francisco, Colorado, San Diego, Arizona, Houston and Washington -- have a combined record of 66-94 and none of them are over. 500. The Dodgers have outscored their opponents 88-32 at Chavez Ravine.

"Just because a team is under .500 right now, it doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot because it's too early to say who's going to be a good team or a bad team," Clayton Kershaw said. "Most of the teams we've been playing are in our own division, and that's the most important thing."

The Nationals, whose 7-18 mark is the worst in the majors, lost at Dodger Stadium for the 10th straight time since winning on May 4, 2005. They began an eight-game road trip a day after ending their five-game homestand with a suspended game against Houston.

"The only thing you're uneasy about is a team coming in and everybody assuming it's a pushover because they haven't got a very good record," Torre said. "Last year they swept us in Washington, so we know they're offensive-minded and they can score runs. So in order for us to win, we had to pitch."

Kershaw (1-2) allowed a run and four hits over five innings and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first by throwing a called third strike past Austin Kearns.

Cabrera (0-3) gave up five runs -- four earned -- and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who set a club record with four wild pitches last Thursday in a loss to St. Louis, walked five batters for the second straight start and has issued 18 in 18 2/3 innings over his last four outings.

Reliever Mike Hinkley was also wild -- but only for one pitch, when he walked Orlando Hudson with the bases loaded on a ball that sailed about 30 feet over the head of catcher Jesus Flores and hit the screen.

Game notes
The 1911 Tigers were 51-25 at home -- but 38-40 on the road -- and finished 13 1/2 out of first place. Playing in Bennett Field, with its 8,500-seat wooden grandstand, their home attendance for the entire season was 484,988. ... This was the first of five consecutive days in which the Dodgers and Angels are both playing at home. Over the past 29 years, the only time they went an entire season without playing at least once at home on the same day was 2006.