Loaiza beats Zambrano, leads Dodgers over Cubs 11-3
CHICAGO (AP)—Carlos Zambrano heard the boos from the Wrigley Field faithful and pointed to his head. Esteban Loaiza had just gotten the Los Angeles Dodgers off to a win in his first try, while Zambrano remained winless for more than a month.
Loaiza allowed three runs in seven innings and hit a two-run single, leading the Dodgers over the Chicago Cubs 11-3 Monday.
“I will remember that,” Zambrano said of the fan reaction. “I don’t want to stink and (have) bad outings. I know the great moment of my career will come.”
Zambrano (14-12) lost his fifth straight start, giving up eight runs for the first time since June 22, 2005, at Milwaukee.
“I don’t understand why the fans were booing at me. I can’t understand that,” Zambrano said. “They showed me today they just care about them. That’s no fair. Because when you are struggling, that’s when you want to feel, the support of the fans.”
He lasted 4 1-3 innings, his shortest outing since he went four innings against Cincinnati on April 13. He gave up seven hits and five walks.
Zambrano has a 9.56 ERA in three starts since the Cubs gave him a $91.5 million, five-year contract extension through 2012, and he is 0-5 with an 8.29 ERA in six starts since beating Cincinnati on July 29.
“We need Carlos to straighten out,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “His stuff is plenty good. I liked his stuff today. I was expecting a really, really, banged up effort after seeing him come off the mound, and then all of a sudden he gives up a run. Loaiza gets a big base hit. That’s not Zambrano like.”
Loaiza (1-0) was claimed off waivers from Oakland on Wednesday, with the Dodgers assuming more than $8 million in guaranteed salary this year and next. He did not pitch this season until Aug. 22 due to a bulging disk in his neck, and the two-time All-Star was 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA in two starts with the Athletics.
“He didn’t make very many mistakes in the middle of the plate,” Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said. “I thought he did a great job, stayed aggressive throughout the whole game, and when we got the lead he was being even more aggressive and using his defense.”
Loaiza gave up nine hits, struck out three and walked one, throwing 96 pitches. His single was his first major league hit since Aug. 26, 2005.
“I haven’t swung the bat for two years since I was with the Nationals,” Loaiza said. “I tried to make contact and I got a base hit with two RBIs with two outs. I think that was a big hit of mine.”
James Loney had three RBIs for Los Angeles, which is four games back of San Diego and three behind Arizona in the NL West.
NL Central-leading Chicago maintained a 1 1/2 -game lead over Milwaukee and a two-game margin over St. Louis.
Every Dodgers starter had at least one hit. Alfonso Soriano homered leading off the first for Chicago.
Andy LaRoche’s RBI grounder tied the score in the second, but Ryan Theriot singled for a 2-1 lead in the third. Zambrano had led off the inning with a single and tried to score from first on Soriano’s double down the left-field line. Zambrano ran through third-base coach Mike Quade’s stop sign and easily was thrown out at the plate on shortstop Rafael Furcal’s relay of Luis Gonzalez’s throw.
Zambrano walked three batters on the fourth, when LaRoche hit a tying double and Loaiza singled.
Juan Pierre walked leading off the fifth, advanced when first baseman Derrek Lee dropped a pickoff attempt for an error and scored on Jeff Kent’s RBI groundout. Martin’s run-scoring single made it 6-2 and chased Zambrano.
“I hope he can forget about it by his next start. It’s just the nature of game. We’ve all in here have been booed,” Lee said. “I think he’s going to get straightened out. I kind of like it that he’s angry. I have a feeling he might turn that around and use it in his next start.”
Loney greeted Will Ohman with a a two-run double.
Soriano led off the first inning by hitting a 1-0 pitch into left field bleachers. It was Soriano’s 38th career leadoff homer and first since June 23 at U.S Cellular Field against the White Sox.
Gonzalez, who turned 40, was 2-for-3 with two runs. He needs 10 hits to reach 2,500 for his career. Soriano has 38 homers leading off the first inning. … Cubs C Jason Kendall missed the game with a swollen hand after getting hit by a pitch on Sunday. He is day to day. … Crew chief Joe West ordered the lights turned off in the bottom of the fourth since the lights weren’t turned on at the top half of the inning.