The All-Star shortstop looks to stay hot as the Dodgers try for a second straight victory over the Cubs on Friday night.
A day after his 10-game hitting was snapped in a loss to Florida, Furcal went 3 for 3 and hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning of Los Angeles’ 3-2 win over Chicago on Thursday night.
While the Dodgers (47-38) have won three times in 10 home games, they’ve earned victories in six of eight against the Cubs at Chavez Ravine. Chicago has not won a series at Los Angeles since 2006.
Furcal could keep that streak alive with another big series. He is 25 for 50 with four homers and 15 RBIs in his last 12 games. He’s recorded nine multi-hit games during that span while dealing with the recent death of his father.
“He’s made such a big difference in our ballclub,” manager Joe Torre said.
After having their three-game winning streak snapped, the Cubs (38-48) hope Lilly’s career success against the Dodgers will help him bounce back from his worst outing of the season.
Lilly, 3-1 with a 2.58 ERA in six starts versus Los Angeles, allowed three hits in seven innings of a 1-0 victory over the Dodgers on May 27. The left-hander wasn’t nearly as sharp while giving up nine runs and four homers in 6 2-3 innings of a 14-3 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.
“I won’t forget that one for awhile,” Lilly told the Cubs’ official website.
The 2.31 average runs of support the Cubs have given Lilly this season is the lowest in the majors. That doesn’t bode well for Friday considering Chicago has averaged 1.7 runs over its last eight games at Dodger Stadium.
“This is not an easy park to hit in,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “Runs are at a premium, and when you have leads you’ve got to hold onto them.”
Byrd is 5 for 9 in his last two games.
Los Angeles’ scheduled starter Chad Billingsley(notes) (6-4, 4.06) has not won since an 8-4 victory at Chicago on May 26. The right-hander allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings to improve to 1-3 with a 3.99 ERA in five starts versus the Cubs.
Since that victory, Billingsley is 0-2 with a 4.83 ERA in five starts but has allowed three runs and struck out 11 in 12 innings of his last two - both Los Angeles victories. He gave up a run and struck out eight in six innings of a 3-1 win at Arizona on Sunday.