After hitting a leadoff triple in the top of the fifth inning, Alex Verdugo scored on a Chris Taylor fielder’s choice to put the Dodgers in front early, boosting Los Angeles to a 2-1 victory of the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon.
The Dodgers’ win came after the Cubs snagged wins in each of the series’ first two games, as Chicago outscored the Los Angeles 14-8 in those contests.
Per Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Verdugo is now 4-for-9 vs against lefty pitching this year, with all four hits—a double, two triples and a homer—going for extra bases. The more time that passes by, the more the youngster is forcing Los Angeles management to include him in the lineup on a daily basis.
Pinch hitting for reliever Caleb Ferguson, Corey Seager drew a walk off of Chicago swing man Randy Rosario in the top of the eighth frame, and subsequently scored on a Cody Bellinger sacrifice fly to center field, extending the Los Angeles lead to two runs.
The Dodgers were limited to just four hits on the afternoon—Verdugo’s triple, a double by Bellinger, and singles from A.J. Pollock and Rocky Gale. Yet because of the Dodgers’ stellar pitching, they were just enough to secure the win.
Bellinger’s double gave him 84 total bases on the season. According to Elias, that’s just one short of the big-league record for total bases by the end of April. Coincidentally, Chase Utley set the mark of 85 back in 2008.
Lefty Jon Lester started the afternoon on the hill for the Cubs, tossing five innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out five. He threw 79 pitches to 19 batters faced. It was Lester’s first start since April 8, when he tweaked a hamstring while running the bases.
Lester was credited with the loss.
Ross Stripling started for the Dodgers and threw 4-2/3 innings, just one out shy of the necessary distance to record the official victory. Stripling allowed no runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six.
Pedro Baez threw 1-1/3 innings to record the win. He surrendered no hits and walked one batter while striking out three.
Caleb Ferguson threw the seventh inning allowing just a walk. Joe Kelly tossed a clean eighth, lowering his season ERA to an even 9.00.
Looking ahead, the Dodgers return home and will prepare for a three-game series against the Pirates beginning on Friday.
Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM Los Angeles time.