LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andre Ethier singled in a pair of go-ahead runs in the seventh inning, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers rally past the Chicago Cubs 5-2 Saturday night for their fifth consecutive victory.
The NL West leaders have their third winning streak of five or more games for the first time since May 7-12. The Dodgers overcame a balk by starter Mat Latos that put the Cubs ahead in the fifth to pound out six of their 11 hits in a four-run seventh.
J.P. Howell (5-1) earned the win in relief, striking out one in one-third of an inning.
Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth to earn his 27th save in 29 chances.
The Cubs dropped their fourth in a row, their most losses since five straight from June 24-28, which included two defeats to the Dodgers.
Jon Lester (8-10) gave up five runs and eight hits in six-plus innings. The left-hander struck out seven and walked none in his first road start since July 18 at Atlanta.
Lester stumbled in the seventh, giving up four consecutive hits to start the inning, including Jose Peraza’s first major league RBI that tied the game 2-all. Peraza was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday for his second stint with the Dodgers.
Lester was replaced by Justin Grimm, who served up Ethier’s RBI double that gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. Ethier had entered as a defensive replacement in the top of the inning. Los Angeles added a run on Adrian Gonzalez’s RBI single after batting around in the inning.
The Cubs had the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the eighth against reliever Jim Johnson, who got out of the jam when Addison Russell grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Russell put the Cubs ahead 2-1 on Latos’ balk after the pitcher took a step toward first base and didn’t throw. Manager Don Mattingly vehemently protested the call for several minutes to no avail. Latos walked his next batter and promptly got yanked.
Latos gave up two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings of his first start since Aug. 13, when he allowed five runs — four earned — and seven hits in the same amount of innings against Cincinnati. It was his fifth career balk. He had a wild pitch in the second.
Los Angeles tied the game 1-all in the third on Kike Hernandez’s infield single.
The Cubs led 1-0 in the second on Russell’s sacrifice fly to foul territory in left field.
Cubs: RH Jake Arrieta (16-6, 2.22 ERA) makes his team-leading 27th start of the season. He’s the first Cubs pitcher since Steve Trachsel in 1994 to win eight consecutive road decisions. He is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts last season against the Dodgers.
Dodgers: LH Alex Wood (9-8, 3.70) is 2-2 in five starts since joining the team. He is limiting left-handed hitters to a .148 average and has allowed just 10 homers this season in 148 1/3 innings.
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