Dodgers corner Cubs, then let a win get away

By Cary Osborne

What’s become typical for the Dodgers took an atypical turn on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Starter Bud Norris went five innings, leaving with a 3-2 lead after throwing 89 pitches. But the usually steady bullpen couldn’t hold this one and the Dodgers lost 6-4.

The Cubs tied the score 4-4 in the ninth on a wild pitch by Kenley Jansen that crossed up catcher Carlos Ruiz in his Dodger debut. They took the lead for good with a two-run home run by Kris Bryant off Adam Liberatore in the 10th inning. Bryant also hit a solo shot in the eighth off Joe Blanton to pull the Cubs to within one, down 4-3.

It was the third time this month that the stable of workhorses in the bullpen didn’t hold a lead for a Dodger starter (the other two being August 10 against Philadelphia and August 18 at Philadelphia).

The wild pitch will be magnified, acknowledged Dave Roberts, being that there is a lack of familiarity between Ruiz and Jansen, whose cutter has been widely said to be one of the toughest pitches in the game to catch.

“It was a tough loss and a game we wanted to win,” Roberts said. “It was a well-played game. I thought there were a lot of good things. There were some big hits and good pitching. Very good defensive plays. But those guys are a very good ballclub. They don’t quit.”

The biggest hit for the Dodgers came off the bat of Adrián González. A day after his 17-game hitting streak ended, González hit a 398-foot solo home run to center field in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. It was his 299th career home run as a first baseman. He’s one away from becoming the 19th player in Major League history to have hit 300 or more homers as a first baseman. Gonzalez has seven homers in his last 17 games and is OPSing 1.147 in that span.

Chase Utley made a phenomenal play in the fifth inning.

With the Cubs breathing down hard on the Dodgers, having cut the lead to 3-2 in the frame and with runners on first and third and two outs, Ben Zobrist grounded through the infield into shallow right field. Utley chased, dove and snagged the ball and threw Zobrist out while lying nearly flat on his back.

Ruiz reached base three times in the game with a hit by pitch, walk and single.

Corey Seager had two doubles to take sole possession of second place for most doubles by a Dodger rookie with 37. Johnny Frederick hit 52 doubles as a rookie for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1929.

After the game, Roberts said Brock Stewart, who was called up from Oklahoma City earlier in the day, will start for the Dodgers on Sunday.

2 Comments

I didn’t like the fact that the Dodgers had only a one run lead going into the ninth. It always gets me nervous when Jansen has to save a one run lead.
I had a bad feeling when Heyward doubled. The pressure was too thick.

The key to that inning was the ole try by Ruiz, instead of trying to block the ball. Unfamiliar or not, that’s a poor job to try to stop a ball in the dirt. Everything else was a anticlimactic to me at that point, including losing in extras.

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