Usually when the opposing team hits four home runs, things are not going to turn out too well for you. But the red-hot Dodgers did not let that slow them down on Thursday as they beat the Chicago Cubs 6-4. After a fantastic month of July, the Dodgers look to start August off well in this four-game series with the Cubs.
Ricky Nolasco entered Thursday's game with an extended seven days of rest, but it did not look like it in the first inning when he gave up back-to-back home runs to Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo. He gave up another to Lake in the third inning, so despite only giving up four hits in his five innings pitched, he was pinned for three runs.
Nolasco was taken out after 82 pitches and probably would have kept going, but a pinch hitter came in for him in the top of the sixth. The Dodgers scored two runs with Nolasco on the mound, in the third inning as Hanley Ramirez doubled in Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez, on his only hit of the game.
Jerry Hairston Jr. was the aforementioned pinch hitter for Nolasco in the sixth inning. He came in with runners on second and third base with one out and drove a ball up the middle, narrowly missing a stab attempt from Darwin Barney, to score two runs.
Yasiel Puig hit a double to put Hairston on third, and Adrian Gonzalez brought him home on a bloop single to center field. It was a big three-run inning to put the Dodgers in the lead 5-3, but Yasiel Puig tried to score on Gonzalez's blooper and was thrown out at home, with Hanley Ramirez on deck.
The bullpen was very effective again in four innings of relief. J.P. Howell, Chris Withrow, Paco Rodriguez and Kenley Jansen gave up just one hit with two walks and six strikeouts. The one hit came off of Paco Rodriguez, a solo-shot to Anthony Rizzo, his second of the game.
It was Rodriguez's first earned run in 16.1 innings, and 23 appearances. During that time he gave up eight hits and two walks with 20 strikeouts.
In the ninth Puig supplied the insurance run, and made up for his poor base running, with a solo homer. The final score was 6-4, putting the Dodgers 3.5 games ahead of the Diamondbacks, and marking their 11th consecutive road win. That is something that has not been done by a Dodger ball club since 1955.
If the Cubs had any runners on base when they hit those four runs this game would have been a different story, but they only managed to get one other hit the entire game. Friday brings a matchup of Hyun-Jin Ryu against Travis Wood for second game of the four-game series.
Tweets From #Dodgers Nation
The Dodgers play Blurred Lines all the time in the locker room, almost an unofficial anthem.
Blurred Lines playing in the locker room behind Mattingly. I can see Uribe, Puig, Hanley, and Ryu dancing now. Hahaha… #Dodgers
— Milton Jackson II (@MajorK_) August 2, 2013
Actually his first home run allowed to a lefty this season in 71 plate appearances, and second overall.
— Rick Mantz (@DRMustang22) August 2, 2013
If you were to swap Puig back-and-forth from your good side or bad side after each astonishing or boneheaded play you'd get whiplash. Instead, just sit back and enjoy what the man can do!
#DODGERS won I see... Puig with his 11th Hr. Back on my good side. FwT.
— NelSoN (@RaIdErNeLsON) August 2, 2013
If opposing fans have to compare their best rookie to Puig then he must be doing something right!
— Joey Key (@JoeyKey_) August 2, 2013
— Carolyn Willey⚾ (@carolynwilley) August 2, 2013
"Puiging" is now a verb. Someone tell Webster's.
— Brandon Kakert (@Munkusaurus) August 2, 2013
— Drew Spevak (@DrewSpevak) August 2, 2013