After suffering a three-game sweep at San Diego and then being no hit by the Chicago Cubs the previous night, it would have been understandable if AJ Pollock and the Los Angeles Dodgers were reeling a bit in what has been an abysmal week so far.
But Pollock and the rest of the defending World Series champions can exhale a bit after Friday night.
Pollock and Max Muncy homered during the eighth inning as the Dodgers rebounded with a 6-2 victory over the Cubs to snap a four-game losing streak.
One day after being no-hit by four Chicago pitchers , the Dodgers got eight hits on Friday night, including three home runs.
“When you score runs late it takes off some of the pressure for sure,” Pollock said. “The clubhouse was good before the game. What are you going to do? Stuff happens.”
After Gavin Lux drew a walk to lead off the inning, Pollock drove a sinker by Ryan Tepera (0-1) just past the outstretched glove of left fielder Joc Pederson for the go-ahead runs.
Muncy added another two-run shot to right field to provide insurance for Los Angeles, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Muncy, who has gone deep 15 times this season, has hits in three of five games since being activated off the injured list earlier this week.
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Even though Pollock tried to imply that they weren't rattled, manager Dave Roberts said the stress level definitely ramped up during the late innings.
“There's that sense of urgency. When you're in the middle of a losing streak and at home, the crowd is waiting for us to do something,” Roberts said. “We needed that home run (by Pollock). You could sense it in the dugout.”
Zach McKinstry also went deep for the Dodgers. Blake Treinen (2-3), the sixth of seven pitchers who got the call from Roberts, pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Kris Bryant homered and Jason Heyward had two of the Cubs' five hits.
Bryant, who came in batting 8 for 64 in his last 19 games, gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead two batters into the game with a solo shot to left-center. It was homer No. 15 on the year and his second in the past three games.
The Dodgers evened it at 1 in the second when Cody Bellinger scored on a sharp grounder by Lux to first base that went off Anthony Rizzo's glove. Javier Báez, who was playing in shallow right on the shift, was able to get to get the ball and throw out Lux at first.
McKinstry gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the third when he drove Jake Arrieta’s pitch just over the wall in center in for his fourth home run of the year and first since April 14. Los Angeles loaded the bases with two outs later in the inning, but second baseman Ian Happ made a diving catch on Will Smith's line drive to end the threat.
Los Angeles also had the bases loaded with two outs in the fifth, but Lux grounded out to first.
Chicago tied it in the seventh when Heyward came home on Pederson's sacrifice fly to right field.
The only hit Los Angeles starter Tony Gonsolin allowed was Bryant's home run. The right-hander went four innings and struck out seven and issued two walks. It is Gonsolin's longest outing in his three starts since being activated off the injured list on June 9 after being sidelined for two months due to right shoulder inflammation.
Arrieta retired the Dodgers in order in the first before running into some trouble the remaining four innings. The righty — who has not won since May 25 and is 0-2 in his last six outings — went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits. He also had four strikeouts and walked three.
“I think he threw the ball pretty well. He looked sharp on his breaking stuff and used both sides of the plate well,” Cubs manager David Ross said of Arrieta.
Cubs: C Wilson Contreras had some bruising on his hand after being hit by a pitch during the sixth inning, but remained in the game. ... RHP Dillion Maples (right triceps strain) will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Iowa on Saturday. ... LHP Justin Steele (right hamstring strain) and RHP Trevor Williams (appendicitis) both had successful bullpen sessions on Thursday and will begin their rehab assignments in Iowa on Sunday.
Dodgers: SS Corey Seager (broken right hand) fielded some ground balls in the infield. He will be working out with the team the remainder of the homestand with a possible rehab assignment to be determined.
Dodgers LHP Julio Urias (9-3, 3.99) attempts to become the third pitcher in the majors to reach 10 wins this season, but he had his shortest outing of the season last Monday at San Diego, allowing six runs in four innings. Cubs RHP Alec Mills (3-1, 5.18 ERA) is looking for his second straight win after throwing five scoreless innings on June 20 against Miami.