After nine and a half innings of scoreless ball at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers turned to recently reactivated Joel Peralta to put another zero on the board.
Peralta (0-1) wasn't up to the task as he allowed back-to-back singles before walking the bases loaded and Chris Denorfia hit a sacrifice fly to center field as the Chicago Cubs walked off with a 1-0 win.
"Obviously that's a situation where I know that all I need to do is hit a fly ball," Denorfia said. "So I tried to just take a deep breath and get a ball that was up in the zone and just get the bottom half of it."
The move by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly to turn to Peralta in the 10th was an interesting one considering Peralta had not pitched since April 23rd. Ordinarily after a two-month layover between appearances, you'd want your reliever to shake the rust off before pitching in a high-pressure situation.
"I have trust in our guys regardless of the situation, or how long it's been since they've pitched," Mattingly said. "In that situation I thought Joel would be able to get us through the inning and into the 11th."
The game featured a good ol' fashioned pitchers' duel between the Dodgers and Cubs staffs, which are among the top in the National League in team ERA.
Starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Jason Hammel took turns throwing up zeros on the board through the first eight innings as both pitchers did not factor in the decision.
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For Greinke, it was his ninth consecutive start without a win, as the former Cy Young Award winner has not won since May 5th, going 0-2 with a 1.99 ERA and five no-decisions over that span.
"I don't worry about it and I just think our team's good and by the end of the year, if everyone does their job, we're going to be all right." Greinke said.
Greinke pitched well enough to get the win, but walked away with nothing to show for it. Greinke went six scoreless innings allowing just three hits with five strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 1.70 on the season.
Hammel matched Greinke pitch-for-pitch allowing no runs on two hits, in 7.2 scoreless innings with six strikeouts of his own.
"My fastball command was there tonight, and it makes me a different pitcher," Hammel said.
A fan holding a baby, snatched a foul ball from the glove of Adrian Gonzalez while holding a baby in the bottom of the second inning. The play was challenged by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly an overturned.
"It would have been more impressive if the baby would have caught it," Gonzalez said jokingly.
Ordinarily, under Wrigley Field rules, the fan would have been ejected from the game for interfering with the ball in play, but under the circumstances, and with an infant child cradled under his arm, he was able to stay in his seats and take in the game.
Yasiel Puig hit a two-out triple in the top of the sixth inning when a trio of Cubs fielders lost the ball in the air and it fell between the center fielder, right fielder and second baseman. Unfortunately, the Dodgers could not capitalize on the Cubs mistake, stranding Puig at third.
The Dodgers played five infielders in the bottom of the 10th inning, but Chris Denorfia popped out to center field, knocking in the game winning run on a sac fly.