Dodgers beat Cubs for 11th straight on road

Jack McCarthy, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHICAGO --- The Dodgers' record-setting road run hit another milestone Thursday and an all-time winning streak away from home is now within reach.
Pinch hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in a three-run sixth inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a four-game series at Wrigley Field.
The Dodgers' 11th straight road victory matched a 1955 run by the
Brooklyn Dodgers. Their current streak -- dating back to July 7 in San
Francisco -- is already a record as the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"It feels good. We've gotten to the point obviously where we're not afraid to be on the road," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said "We're playing pretty consistently as far as energy-wise and the way we play on the road and at home."
The club's all-time road winning streak record is 12 set by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1924.
Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo each homered twice for Chicago. Rizzo's second was a solo shot run to left with one out in the eighth inning off left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez that cut the Dodger lead to 5-4.
Yasiel Puig replied with a ninth inning homer to left with none aboard to restore a two-run lead.
Cubs left-handed starter Chris Rusin (1-1) departed after putting on two Dodgers with none out in the sixth.
The runners -- Scott Van Slyke and Mark Ellis -- advanced to second and third on a Tim Federowicz' sacrifice bunt off Bowden.
Hairston singled home both for a 4-3 Dodgers edge. With two out, Puig's double moved Hairston to third.
"I was looking for something to drive -- first pitch and a runner at third base -- and I wanted to make sure I got the runner at third in," Hairston said. "I wanted a fastball but (got) offspeed and tried to put good wood on it and fortunately
I was able to do that."
Hairston scored on Adrian Gonzalez' base hit to center for a 5-3 advantage. But Puig was caught at the plate on a throw from center fielder David DeJesus to catcher Dioner Navarro.
Rusin gave up two earned runs on seven hits, struck out four and walked three and took the loss.
"My stuff was there, but in the third inning I left a couple pitches up and they put it down in the corner and scored a couple of runs," said Rusin, who made his first Wrigley Field start of the season. "You can't make those mistakes."
Dodgers right-hander Ricky Nolasco (7-9) worked five innings and gave up three earned runs on four hits, struck out six and walked one.
"It was just three bad pitches and those pitches usually go out of any park," Nolasco said. "For the most part I was able to make quality pitches."
Dodger reliever Kenley Jansen worked one inning for his 15th save.
Lake and Rizzo each homered in the first inning for a 2-0 Cubs lead. Lake lined Nolaso's 3-1 pitch down the third base line for his third homer. Rizzo followed with a first-pitch shot to the right field bleachers.
It was the fifth time the Cubs have hit back-to-back home runs this season.
"Four solo homers by two people, and it's nice to see Lake come back after having a tough week and Rizzo's starting to swing
the bat a little better," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He's swinging the bat really well this homestand."
Rizzo is hitting .450 (9-for-20) with three home runs and four RBI in his last six games.
The Dodgers tied the game in the third. Hanley Ramirez's one-out double down the third base line brought home Puig and Adrian Gonzalez.
Lake's second home run of the game came in the third, a solo shot to left for a 3-2 Chicago lead.
NOTES: The Dodgers have not lost a series since dropping two of three at Pittsburgh in mid-June. ... Los Angeles' 19-6 July performance (.760) was the third best in franchise history behind April 1977 (17-3, .850) and July 1962 (20-6, .769). ... LHP Clayton Kershaw went 4-1 in July with a 1.34 ERA in six starts. His current ERA is 1.84. The last Dodger pitcher with an ERA below 2.00 for a
season was Sandy Koufax (1.73) in 1966. ... Los Angeles RHP Carlos Marmol is back at Wrigley Field for the first time since arriving in a trade in early July. ... Entering Thursday, five of the Cubs' previous seven games and six of their previous nine were decided by one run. Chicago was tied for the major league lead with the Royals and Mets with 38 one-run games. The Cubs were 15-23 in those games. ... Only five current Cubs were on the 2012 Opening Day roster (3B Luis Valbuena, SS Starlin Castro, 2B Darwin Barney, LHP James Russell and RHP Jeff Samardzija). ... The Dodgers send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-3, 3.14 ERA) against Cubs LHP Travis Wood (7-7, 2.79 ERA) on Friday afternoon.

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