Chicago (59-55) at Los Angeles (59-55)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Sat Aug 9, 2003
  • TV: WGN, KCOP
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Matt Clement hopes to build off one of the best weeks of his 13-year career as the Chicago Cubs continue a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

Clement, who has won five of his last seven starts, was named the National League’s player of the week Tuesday after two brilliant outings. The veteran right-hander surrendered just one run and five hits over 17 innings while posting consecutive wins. He struck out 15 while walking just four.

On Sunday, Clement limited Arizona to one run and three hits over eight innings in a 2-1 victory.

Clement is 7-3 since the beginning of June, and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of 12 outings during that span.

“The guys have played flawless defense behind me and gotten me enough runs to win,” he said of his success over the last two months.

The Dodgers dropped the Cubs 2 1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central with Friday’s series-opening 3-1 win.

Closer Eric Gagne got the final three outs for his major league-record 39th consecutive save to start the season. Gagne has converted his last 47 save chances dating to last season.

The Dodgers have won five in a row to move within four games of Philadelphia and Florida for the NL wild card.

The Cubs had a four-game winning streak snapped Friday, and are just three games off the pace in the wild card race.

STANDINGS: Cubs - 2nd place, 2 1/2 GB, NL Central. Dodgers - 3rd place, 12 1/2 GB, NL West.

CUBS PROBABLE STARTER: Clement (9-9, 3.91 ERA). Clement is 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA in eight career starts against the Dodgers.

DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Wilson Alvarez (1-1, 3.51 ERA). Alvarez will make his third start of the season for the Dodgers. The veteran left-hander yielded two runs over 9 2-3 innings in his last four relief outings combined. His last start came in a 9-3 win at Colorado on July 13. He allowed three runs and five hits over five innings, while striking out four and walking four. Alvarez is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in two career starts against the Cubs.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Cubs - Mark Grudzielanek, .305 avg.; Sammy Sosa, 26 HRs and 73 RBIs; Kenny Lofton, 68 runs and 23 SBs. Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .294 avg.; Jeromy Burnitz, 22 HRs; Shawn Green and Burnitz, 55 RBIs; Green, 56 runs; Dave Roberts, 28 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Dodgers, 1-0.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Cubs - RHP Clement is 3-4 with a 4.09 ERA in 10 road starts this season. … 1B Eric Karros, who spent his first 12 seasons with the Dodgers, went 0-for-3 in his first game at Dodger Stadium as an opposing player. … SS Alex Gonzalez is 5-for-20 (.250) with a homer and three RBIs in his career against LHP Alvarez. Dodgers - The Dodgers’ bullpen ERA is an NL-best 2.06. … 2B Alex Cora is hitting .462 (6-for-13) with two RBIs in his career against Clement. … RHP Gagne’s last blown save came on Aug. 26, 2002, in a 6-3 loss to Arizona.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Cubs - 31-26 on the road; Dodgers - 33-25 at home.

INJURIES: Cubs - INF Grudzielanek (hand), 15-day DL; OF Tom Goodwin (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Corey Patterson (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Chiasson (elbow), 60-day DL; LHP Will Ohman (elbow), 60-day DL. Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (back), 15-day DL; 1B Fred McGriff (abductor muscle), 15-day DL; OF Brian Jordan (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Kazuhisa Ishii (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Dreifort (knee), 60-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Clement Tor vs. W. Alvarez LAD
14-12 Record 6-2
4.11 ERA 2.37
171 K 82
79 BB 23
1.23 WHIP 1.08