• Hero: In only his third game with the Nationals, Wily Mo Pena, acquired from the Red Sox, homered for the second straight game and added an RBI single.
• Unsung hero: Washington's Tim Redding got his third win, throwing seven shutout innings and two strikeouts against his former team, where he played for four years.
• Injury report: Astros manager Phil Garner said CF Hunter Pence (right wrist sprain) could be activated from the 15-day disabled list as early as Tuesday. Pence has been out since July 23.
• Quotable: "[Pena] has that kind of power. Now he's getting the opportunity to play." -- Dmitri Young
-- ESPN.com news services
Nationals 7, Astros 0
Redding threw seven shutout innings against his former team, Pena homered for the second straight game and the Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros 7-0 Monday night to end a four-game losing streak.
Redding (3-3) played for Houston for four seasons before he was traded to San Diego in 2005. He avenged a July 17 loss to the Astros in Washington, his only other action against his former team.
Redding said he has no ill feelings for his former team.
"It was a mutual break," Redding said. "I felt I needed to leave there to try to get my career going the way I thought it was supposed to get going. Do I wish I could have stayed? Sure I wish I could have done well and stayed. But the business of this game is to move on."
There's no better example of that than Pena, acquired from Boston on Friday with cash for a player to be named. Pena hit a career-high 26 homers with Cincinnati in 2004 and was dealt to the Red Sox last year.
"You see both ends of the spectrum tonight," Redding said. "He goes off and has been hitting the cover off the ball. He got me going against my old organization. Sometimes it just takes a couple of times to stick somewhere."
Washington had scored more than four runs just once in its previous 11 games.
Redding gave up six hits, struck out two and walked three. He has won his last two starts, allowing just two runs and nine hits in 13 innings while lowering his ERA to 2.53.
"[Redding] came to spring training trying to impress everybody to make sure one of those starting spots was his," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "Every outing was like a tryout for him. He finally realized he can't control whatever we are going to do."
Jason Jennings (2-9) gave up six runs and seven hits in four innings for Houston, stretching his winless streak to six games. He has just one win in 12 starts since June 19.
Pena hit a two-out solo homer in the second inning, his second in three games with Washington.
"One swing of the bat," Young said. "He has that kind of power. Now he's getting the opportunity to play."
Jennings got into two-out trouble again in the third, walking Ryan Zimmerman to put runners on first and second. Young sliced a 1-2 slider -- "a doggone good one," Young said -- down the right-field line for his 12th of the season.
"It would have hit the ground if he wouldn't have hit it," Jennings said. "I don't know what else I could do. I guess I could bounce it in the grass. He's 10-for-15 lifetime against me, so maybe I should try bouncing it in the grass."
"These last couple starts I feel like I have thrown the ball better than I have the last month or two," Jennings said. "Just no results to show for it."
Redding was far from perfect, allowing the first two runners to reach in the fourth and fifth innings. But he struck out two straight to help himself in the fourth, and induced Mark Loretta's inning-ending double play in the fifth.
Acta was impressed with the outing, especially knowing Redding struggled with the command on his fastball.
"It's experience," Acta said. "He's been here before. He's not a kid. Obviously he's been in situations before when he was with Houston, he had to battle when he didn't have his best stuff. What a way to battle. Seven scoreless innings. I'll take that every time."
Astros manager Phil Garner said CF Hunter Pence (right wrist sprain) could be activated from the 15-day disabled list as early as Tuesday. Pence has been out since July 23. He is rehabbing at Triple-A Round Rock. ... Astros LF Carlos Lee was in the starting lineup after pinch-hitting in Sunday's game in San Diego. Lee had left Saturday's contest with a strained right hip flexor. He went 1-for-4 against the Nationals. ... RHP Jesus Colome, activated from the disabled list Saturday after missing 48 games with a soft tissue infection in his right leg, pitched two innings against the Astros. ... The Astros went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.