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Nolasco keeps up winning ways for Dodgers

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Hometown boy Ricky Nolasco calls it his dream to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers, just miles from where he was raised.

Maybe it's the Dodgers who are dreaming.

Nolasco continued his fine start with Los Angeles as he dominated the Chicago Cubs in a 4-0 win on Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

Coming off a splendid start against Boston -- an eight-inning, two-hit, zero-run performance in a 2-0 Los Angeles win on Friday -- Nolasco moved to 6-1 with the Dodgers as he stifled the Cubs over eight innings.

He did not allow a run and gave up three hits while picking up 11 strikeouts and walking just one. He was especially dominant early, allowing just two hits over the first six innings as the Los Angeles lineup built a 4-0 advantage off former Dodger Edwin Jackson.

"I was just trying to mix it up," Nolasco said. "I wanted to go out there and throw strikes and make out pitches. I love it every day here, seeing family and playing for the Dodger fans -- this is my dream my whole life."

In his last start against Chicago on Aug. 1, Nolasco allowed three solo home runs, but he bounced back as did the Dodgers, who had lost three of four.

"I had a bad game. I left three cement mixers right down the middle and big league hitters are gonna do that," Nolasco said of his previous start against the Cubs. "I was able to stay away from that today."

Added Chicago's Brian Bogusevic: "What they have is a bunch of number ones. Those are the guys who teams usually look to stop a streak and they have them all through the rotation. It's not just one guy who has to pick them up. It's so tough."

Jackson allowed six hits and four runs (two earned) in 6 2/3 innings, but hurt his cause with a fifth-inning throwing error on a Nolasco ground ball that allowed Juan Uribe to score, giving Los Angeles a 3-0 lead. Skip Schumaker, who replaced the benched Yasiel Puig in the lineup, immediately followed with an RBI single to score Tim Federowicz.

Jackson struck out five and walked two on 124 pitches before giving way to lefty James Russell.

The Dodgers flashed some power earlier in the game, though, as Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier hit solo home runs in the first and fourth innings respectively.

"I felt pretty good, even with the mistake changeup," Jackson said. "That was pretty much the only pitch I would take back. But (the error) was a play I have to make. I came around and opened up and stayed too short and spiked the ball. Other than that play and the hanging changeup, I felt pretty good."

Ethier led the Dodgers with two hits while Welington Castillo had two hits for Chicago.

"We had a little hiccup his last weekend with Boston in town, but to come back and win the first game of the series -- not too good last night, even though we could've won -- but to get back at it today, it's kind of what we've been doing well in the second half," Ethier said. "In the second half here, we've figured out a way when little things go wrong to fix it right away.

"It's a credit to what the pitching staff has been doing."

Puig was pulled before the fifth inning for what appeared to be disciplinary reasons, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly would not address why. This, after Chicago manager Dale Sveum was ejected on Puig's leadoff at-bat of the first inning, for arguing about a Puig check swing.

"We know him a bit different to the media, but today what he was doing wasn't acceptable," Nolasco said. "Skip thought it was the best decision to do and we're gonna agree; as long as he learns from it."

NOTES: Cubs IF Luis Valbuena (oblique strain) went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a walk in his first rehab game with the Cubs' Arizona League affiliate on Tuesday. ... Chicago OF Ryan Sweeney (rib injury) went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI in his third game with Mesa. ... Puig's five-game streak of multihit games against the Cubs ended at five. Puig batted leadoff, relegating Carl Crawford to the No. 2 spot after he led off all 78 of his previous appearances this year. ... Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had the day off after an 0-for-9 batting slump. Jerry Hairston Jr. got the start. ... Dodgers RHP Jose Dominguez could be sidelined even after the rosters expand on Sept. 1. Dominguez has been on the disabled list since July 23 and he's had two MRIs, but made little progress. ... Jackson's 124 pitches were his most since 2011.
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