The game was delayed for 18 minutes in top of the fourth inning after a nearby fire caused the lights to go out at Wrigley Field.
After only allowing one run in his last two starts, Billingsley (6-2) allowed three runs and a season-high 10 hits, struck out six and walked one. He threw 100 pitches on a humid Chicago night.
“He (Billingsley) just had to work too hard. It wasn’t his fault,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “We didn’t play particularly well. We got away with it. There was really no issue with him.”
Billingsley was in trouble in the third after Rafael Furcal’s(notes) error third error in two days helped set up a no outs bases loaded jam, after hitting Mike Fontenot(notes) with the bases loaded, Billingsley rebounded by retiring the next three batters and escaping by allowing just one run.
“He pitched amazing in that inning (third). He had to work extra hard. That’s the Chad we’ve all seen in past years. I’m glad to see he’s back in that grind mode right now,” Torre said.
Furcal opened the game with a single and Russell Martin(notes) walked. The runners advanced on Matt Kemp’s(notes) groundout and Manny Ramirez(notes) followed with a hard grounder to third to score Furcal. Blake hit an RBI double then scored on Loney’s single.
In the second, Gorzelanny walked Billingsley with one out, then with two outs, Martin hit a routine bouncer to third baseman Mike Fontenot, who made a wild throw into the seats. With the runners advancing to the second and third on the error, Kemp doubled to left-center to give the Dodgers a 5-0 lead.
Gorzelanny said the speculation didn’t have an impact on his outing.
“No. But you read it. I don’t really know what decision is to be made, it’s not my decision,” he said. “I don’t feel like I deserve the right to go to the ‘pen. I feel like I have pitched well enough, done well enough to deserve to be in the rotation. Whatever they choose to do is hopefully for the right reason and whatever they ask me to do I’ll do.”
Cubs manager Lou Piniella said an official decision won’t be made until the end of the week.
“We’ll finalize it as soon as we can. Zambrano will be in the bullpen starting on (Thursday), helping us out, the last game of the series and also the first two games of the St. Louis series then we can make a decision,” Piniella said.
He pitched five-plus innings and gave up a season-high seven runs, five earned, and seven hits.
“I guess the game plan was good, the feeling out there, I didn’t feel right and I was trying to do too much out there. I was trying to force a lot of pitches that I didn’t really need to do and actually got my self in bad situations and deep counts,” said Gorzelanny.
A bank of lights behind home plate went out as Gorzelanny released a 3-1 pitch to Blake DeWitt(notes). Home plate umpire Wally Bell called the pitch a ball and granted DeWitt first base on the walk. As Dewitt was jogging down the first-base line, the rest of the stadium lights went out. The game was halted at 8:25 p.m. and resumed 18 minutes later.
“I think it was about mid-pitch,” Dewitt said. “I’ve definitely never seen that before. Not a real good feeling either, because I completely took my eye off the ball and off the pitcher. This is one of them things that’s a good story for later.”
Leading 5-2 in the sixth, Billingsley got more insurance when Loney led off with a triple and scored on Reed Johnson’s(notes) double. Johnson scored after second baseman Ryan Theriot(notes) made an errant throw to the plate on Furcal’s soft bouncer.
Nady homered in the sixth off Billingsley.
Leading 7-3 in the seventh, the Cubs cut into the lead thanks to Ramirez’s lackadaisical outfield play. After Derrek Lee(notes) singled, Alfonso Soriano(notes) hit what looked to be a catchable ball in left, but Ramirez nonchalantly jogged in and was not able to get in position to catch it. Ramirez then had trouble picking up the ball allowing Lee to third and Soriano to second. One out later, pinch-hitter Jeff Baker(notes) hit a deep fly to the left-field warning-track, again, Ramirez took his time getting to the a ball and Baker ended up with a two-run triple.
Torre said Ramirez was bothered by a foot injury that kept him out of several games last week.
“He’s had these leg issues. He’s not moving as he had before. He said it was his fault on that ball that hit the wall. He thought it was going out of the ballpark and he stopped running after it,” Torre said. “I went over to both of them (Kemp and Ramirez) and asked if that ball could have been caught and right away he (Ramirez) said `That’s me.”’
NOTES: Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez(notes) was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a bruised left thumb. … Torre isn’t sure if OF Andre Ethier(notes) will be back in the lineup Sunday when he is eligible to return. Torre said Ethier may play a rehab game or two before returning to major league action. … It was the first delay because of power failure at Wrigley since 2003. The Cubs had two games delayed due to power failures that year.