Thursday, August 1, 2013
Dodgers continue to cruise down the road
By Mark Saxon
The Los Angeles Dodgers had their liveliest crowds of the season on this last homestand, but they seem to save their best baseball for when most of the people in the building are against them.
The Dodgers flew through the night to the Midwest and then played one of their most explosive games in a week in a 6-4 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday. It was the Dodgers' 11th straight win on the road, a new Los Angeles record. The last Dodgers team to run off that many in hostile ground was the 1955 team.
Yasiel Puig scored two runs and hit a solo home run to give the Dodgers some breathing room late in a win over the Cubs.
The Dodgers, who had scored four runs in their previous three games, had 12 hits and came back from a couple of early deficits.
The Dodgers got to their Chicago hotel at 7:30 a.m. and had to be at the field by 3:30 p.m.
All four of Chicago's runs came on solo home runs. Ricky Nolasco -- the only Dodger operating on a good night's sleep after he flew in early -- gave up three of them in his five innings of work, including two to Chicago's version of Puig, left fielder Junior Lake. Lake, a 23-year-old Dominican, is batting .323 with four home runs in 15 games. Anthony Rizzo also went deep twice.
Puig himself hit a solo home run in the ninth on a hanging breaking ball to give the Dodgers an extra run and closer Kenley Jansen breezed through the ninth for his 15th save.
Veteran utility player Jerry Hairston Jr. pinch hit and dribbled a key two-run single up the middle. The Dodgers are 11-2 since the All-Star break and moved back to 3½ games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who lost in Texas.
The Dodgers are 28-7 since June 22 and haven't lost consecutive games since just before that streak.
Nolasco is 2-1, but the Dodgers are 4-1 in his starts, though he has struggled to pitch deep into games. The team was quiet around the trade deadline, but they made their big move more than three weeks early, with the acquisition of Nolasco from the Miami Marlins for three minor-league pitchers.