Dodgers-Cubs Preview

The Associated Press

The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers tried to match a franchise record with a 12th consecutive road win, they were based in Brooklyn and the Chicago Cubs put an end to that run at Wrigley Field.

The host Cubs will try to play spoiler again Friday when their series with the NL West leaders continues.

With Thursday's 6-4 series-opening victory and Arizona's 7-1 loss at Texas, the Dodgers (58-49) have moved a season-high 3 1/2 games in front in the West. They've also won 11 straight away from home for the first time since April 14-May 10, 1955. That streak ended the following day at Chicago, 10-8.

The franchise mark for consecutive road wins stretched from Aug. 25-Sept. 6, 1924, when the club was known as the Brooklyn Robins.

"It was a win. That's what I like," said manager Don Mattingly, whose team is averaging 6.9 runs during its surge outside Los Angeles. "It was a little bit of a battle."

The Dodgers, winners of 27 of 35 overall, continue this four-game set with left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-3, 3.14 ERA) facing the Cubs (49-59) for the first time. Ryu, 4-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 10 road starts, could set the major league record for most single-season wins by a South Korean rookie pitcher - he shares that with Jae Seo - after throwing seven innings of one-run, two-hit ball in Saturday's 4-1 victory over Cincinnati.

"It was probably one of his better performances tonight," Mattingly told the Dodgers' official website. "He had a little extra on his fastball. ... I expected him to really be good. He seems to rise to the occasion all the time."

Los Angeles has won Ryu's last six starts.

Chicago, loser of four of five on its homestand, has not fared as well with Travis Wood (7-7, 2.79) on the mound even though he's among the majors' leaders with 18 quality starts. The All-Star left-hander yielded one unearned run in seven innings Sunday as the Cubs won just for just the second time in his last 10 starts, 2-1 at San Francisco.

Wood has one of the lowest run-support averages in the majors at 3.26, but he's one of the best-hitting pitchers. He went 2 for 3 with a homer against the Giants, increasing his batting average to .293.

"I'm not up there trying to hit homers," Wood, who leads all pitchers with three home runs, told the Cubs' official website. "I'm just trying to put good swings on it."

The Cubs have an NL-best 72 homers at home after Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo both went deep twice Thursday. The last time two Chicago players hit two homers in the same game was June 27, 2011, when Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez did it.

"Other than that they shut us down," Rizzo said.

It's been hard to shut down Hanley Ramirez on the road. The Dodgers shortstop is batting .383 in 26 games outside Los Angeles after going 1 for 5 with a two-run double Thursday.

Ramirez has two doubles in five at-bats off Wood, who is 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in three starts against Los Angeles.

These clubs have alternated wins and losses in their last 12 matchups on Chicago's North Side.

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