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Dodgers' 13th straight road win sets team mark

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers are now the franchise's ultimate road warriors.

The Dodgers claimed a team-record 13th consecutive road victory with Saturday's 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday at Wrigley Field.

"It's a great feeling to be part of history and keep winning," said left fielder Carl Crawford, who went 3-for-5 with two RBI. "The team is just gelling really well right now. Winning cures everything."

Jerry Hairston Jr., meanwhile, collected what proved to be the winning run with an RBI single in the third inning.

Los Angeles' streak, which began with a 4-1 victory at San Francisco on July 7, broke the franchise record for consecutive road victories shared with the 1924 Brooklyn Robins.

That team won 12 in a row between Aug. 25 and Sept. 6, 1924, and finished 92-62, 1 1/2 games behind the National League champion New York Giants.

Dodgers starter Chris Capuano (4-6) pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings for his second victory and third scoreless outing in his last four starts.

Reliever Paco Rodriguez worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, striking out Welington Castillo to preserve the shutout. Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his 16th save.

Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija (6-10) took the loss, his first after going two straight starts without a decision. He also offered a tip of the hat to the Dodgers' achievement.

"And after watching them play a few games, you understand why," Samardzija said. "They take good at-bats, they're a dangerous lineup and what surprised me in the series was their bullpen. It might go unsaid in baseball a lot, but you win late games and close games with your bullpen."

The NL West leaders have won seven of their last eight games, and Chicago dropped its third in a row and sixth in seven games.

The current run is in contrast to earlier in the season when the Dodgers were 12 games below .500 on June 21. They have gone 30-7 since.

"You know you're going to go through some tough spells, but that's the baseball season," Capuano said. "That's why it's so hard. But you have to try to stay positive during those tough spells and believe that spells like we're (now) having, will happen."

The Dodgers claimed a 1-0 lead in the third when Yasiel Puig reached base on a one-out bunt single, advanced to third on Andre Ethier's single and scored on Hairston's two-out infield single.

In the fourth, Samardzija walked one Dodgers batter, hit another and committed a throwing error on a bunt that loaded the bases with one out.

But the Cubs right-hander escaped without damage with back-to-back strikeouts of Crawford and Puig.

Los Angeles scored twice in the sixth when Skip Schumaker walked and advanced to third on Tim Federowicz's double into the right field corner with one out. Both raced home on Crawford's two-out single to right to make it 3-0.

Capuano departed after the Cubs put runners on first and third with one out in the seventh.

Right-hander Brandon League entered and got Cody Ransom to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Rodriguez, the Dodgers' fourth pitcher, came in with runners at first and second and two out. He walked Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo to load the bases before striking out Castillo.

The Dodgers loaded the bases on Cubs right-hander Kevin Gregg with one out in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Adrian Gonzalez grounded into an inning-ending fielder's choice.

Samardzija threw 112 pitches through six innings and gave up three earned runs on seven hits, walked five and struck out nine.

"Fastball command is going to be the dictation of pretty much everybody's outing and (Samardzija) really didn't have it today," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He battled and got the outs and kept the game close, but obviously the pitch count after six innings was way too many."

Capuano gave up six hits, walked one and struck out five.

The Dodgers go for the sweep on Sunday when right-hander Zack Greinke (8-3, 2.42 ERA) pitches against Cubs right-hander Carlos Villanueva (2-7, 4.33 ERA).

NOTES: The Cubs called up INF Donnie Murphy on Saturday after designating OF Julio Borbon for assignment on Friday. Murphy, who played mostly at shortstop, batted .265 with 18 doubles and 12 home runs in 89 games at Iowa. Borbon hit .200 in 73 Cubs games. ... When Murphy plays, he will become the 47th player the Cubs will have used in 2013, six shy of the franchise-record 53 set last year. ... Forty of the Cubs' 120 home runs have come off left-handed pitching, third most in the majors entering Saturday. Chicago hit only 29 home runs off southpaws in 2012. ... The Dodgers remained short of the National League record of 17 straight road victories set in 1916 by the New York Giants ... Entering Saturday, the Dodgers pitchers led the National League with a 2.56 ERA and a .216 opponents' average since July 1. ... Puig is the first player since Joe DiMaggio in 1936 to have 70-plus hits and 10 home runs in his first 50 games in the majors.
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