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“When I got into the game, it was like: ‘I don’t have it,’” he said. “I don’t know what went wrong. … Every mistake I made, they were waiting for that pitch and drove it.”

Not that it really mattered how well Perez pitched on a night Lowe appeared to put forth no effort in mowing down the Nationals’ lineup.

Never breaking a sweat, the right-hander dominated because of his ability to get ahead of hitters with his trademark sinker over the outside corner of the plate. Lowe threw first-pitch strikes to 17 of the 26 men he faced, 15 of them called strikes.

“There’s just nothing you’re going to do with that pitch,” third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “He was automatically ahead 0-1.”

Lowe (8-8) retired the first 10 batters of the night, plus the final 13. Washington’s batters, unable to solve his sinker-slider combo, kept either taking strikes or pounding balls into the ground for easy outs.

There was no adjustment to be made at the plate.

“It was just tough to get into a hitters count, because it was 0-1 right away,” Harris said. “I have to take pitches and work him over, but he was ahead of me all night, and he was ahead of a bunch of hitters tonight.”

Which left the Nationals no other option but to tip their caps to the opposing pitcher for a job well done.

As Acta put it: “He did a number on us.”