Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
CHAVEZ RAVINE (CBSLA.com) — When you’re in the position the Cubs are in — where you have virtually no chance to make the playoffs — you have the mentality to swing away.
That is precisely what the Cubs did in the first inning of Tuesday’s game, in which they took advantage of a quiet Dodger lineup to beat Los Angeles for the first time this season 3-2.
Fouling off pitch after pitch, the Cubs forced Kershaw to make 29 pitches in the first inning. Former Dodger Dioner Navarro was particularly pesky in the first, working a full count and fouling off a multitude of pitches before drawing a walk. Navarro would haunt Kershaw in the next at-bat as well, connecting on a 1-out single to left center to score Tyler Wood from second, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead and snapping an 18-inning scoreless streak for Kershaw.
Andre Ethier showed good range when he made a difficult catch to put the Cubs away in the second inning, robbing Cole Gillespie of an extra base hit when he tracked down a deep fly ball to left center and stretched to make the play at the warming track, rolling off the wall.
The run support for Kershaw was non-existant, with Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez earning the only hits throughout the left-hander’s start.
Puig continued his tear against the Cubs, reaching on a bunt single in the first and grounding a single to left in the third. He has gone 11-for-17 (.647) against the Cubs this season.
There was a scare in the sixth inning that literally reduced the massive crowd, which tonight made the Dodgers the first team to surpass 3,000,000 visitors this season, to silence.
Cody Ransom led off the inning by lining a pitch back at Kershaw on the mound, and the ball appeared to ricochet off the Cy Young winner’s left ankle as Ransom reached on an infield single. Players and staff alike converged on Kershaw immediately, checking on their ace. After a brief meeting on the mound, Kershaw threw a single practice pitch, convincing Mattingly that he was fine.
Kershaw was lifted in the sixth inning, having made 108 pitches.
The Dodger lineup finally figured out there was a ball game going on in the bottom of the sixth, when Juan Uribe gave the Dodgers a run off a 2-strike pitch for an RBI single to score Ramirez, who had advanced to second on a bad pick-off throw by Wood.
Shortly After Ronald Belisario, too, was hit on the shin by a line drive, he hit Junior Lake with a pitch to load the bases without any outs in the seventh. Ransom grounded into a double play, but brought in a run to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead.
Andre Ethier brought the Dodgers back to life when he slapped a line drive back up the middle off reliever Pedro Strop to score Ramirez and bring the Los Angeles within a run.
Skip Schumaker killed the rally when he grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Dodgers will look to Ricky Nolasco on Wednesday for a noon rubber-match against the Cubs, as Los Angeles will go for their twenty-first win of August, tying the LA record for the most wins in a calendar month.