CHICAGO (AP)—A few more starts like this and those minor league T-shirts Sean Gallagher distributed to his teammates will become relics.
Gallagher had his best start, and Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome capped a three-run seventh with run-scoring hits to lead the Chicago Cubs to their second straight 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on a bone-chilling, windy Tuesday night.
“Definitely with the wind blowing, you go out there with a little less fear,” Gallagher said after allowing one run and four hits in a career-high seven innings while striking out three and walking two.
The rookie (2-1) started the season in the minors after making eight relief appearances for the Cubs last season. If he keeps pitching like this, he’ll remain in the rotation.
“He’s still got a couple things to work on, but he’s telling us that he wants to stay in the rotation,” manager Lou Piniella said.
The Dodgers got an RBI single from Blake DeWitt in the fourth, but the third baseman’s error in the seventh allowed the tying run to score and helped turn what looked like a win for Hiroki Kuroda (2-4) into a loss.
The right-hander, who won his previous start, was charged with two runs (one earned) and seven hits while striking out three and walking three. He left with a 1-0 lead after Alfonso Soriano, his teammate with the Hiroshima Carp in 1997, lined a single to left with one out in the seventh, putting runners on first and third.
“I should have made the play but didn’t,” DeWitt said. “I had no chance at him at home. You need to get the guy out at first base there.”
After Derrek Lee flied to right, Ramirez drove in Soriano with a single to center and Fukodome followed with a double down the left-field line that drove in Fontenot.
The Dodgers loaded the bases against Carlos Marmol in the eighth but stranded the runners after coming up empty twice in similar situations during Monday’s loss to Chicago. Marmol struck out James Loney and Matt Kemp grounded into a force to end the threat, and the Dodgers stranded eight runners after leaving 12 the previous day.
The game featured two of the biggest names to move from Japan in the offseason—Kuroda and Fukudome—and both came up big.
Kuroda dismissed the matchup with Fukudome, saying through an interpreter, “It was any other hitter. This is a team game and I can’t be facing individuals.”
With the game-time temperature at 42—a 33-degree drop from Monday—Kuroda froze a team that was second in the majors with a .283 average entering the game for six innings. The exception was Fukudome.
A .330 hitter with four homers against Kuroda in Japan, Fukudome had a single and walk in three trips to the plate against his countryman before doubling against Broxton. He also raced in for a diving catch on Andre Ethier’s liner to right in the sixth.
“I’m just throwing the ball over the plate, trying to throw strikes, and to have my defense like that making plays … it makes it easier,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher made it look easy for much of the night.
He distributed a box of T-shirts with his name that the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate shipped but, otherwise, bore little resemblance to a minor leaguer. There was a scare in the first, when he deflected Ethier’s infield single with his bare hand, but Gallagher shook that off. Then, he shooed away the Dodgers.
With just three hits in 24 at-bats as a Cub, OF Jim Edmonds isn’t sure what his future holds. “The worst thing that can happen to me is they send me back to my family,” Edmonds said. Cut by San Diego, the Cubs signed Edmonds on May 14 and are paying him a prorated share of the $390,000 minimum. “Obviously, defensive play is important. I recognize that, but we need Jim to hit,” Piniella said. … Dodgers OF Andruw Jones will likely miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee Tuesday. Jones, who is hitting .165 with two home runs and seven RBIs in the first year of a $36.2 million, two-year deal, went on the 15-day disabled list Saturday. … 2B Jeff Kent was scratched from the lineup because of lower back spasms. … SS Rafael Furcal, on the DL with a sore lower back, likely won’t return in time for the four-game series in New York against the Mets that starts Thursday.