Chris Capuano continued his great start to his season on Saturday afternoon, both on the mound and at the plate, leading the Dodgers to a 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, snapping a two-game losing streak for the Dodgers.
Capuano was in a tough spot in the first inning on Saturday, much like Chad Billingsley on Friday. Capuano faced a bases loaded, one-out situation which was helped by Jerry Hairston Jr. not getting out of the way of Dee Gordon, who called him off on an infield pop up to start the game. The ball caromed off Gordon's glove for a two-base error, but four batters later Capuano was able to avoid damage by striking out Alfonso Soriano and Ian Stewart to end the inning.
In the top of the second inning, Capuano helped himself at the plate with a two-run double to the right center field gap to cap a three-run inning. Those were the first two runs driven in by a Dodgers pitcher this season.
The Dodgers faced a pitcher in Chris Volstad who came into Saturday with a 6.11 ERA. They made that go up, in delivering his fourth loss of the season. The Cubs have lost all six of Volstad's starts this season, and he has lost nine straight decisions dating back to last season.
Capuano after the first did not have any trouble whatsoever on the mound. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and two walks, and struck out seven. In his last five starts, Capuano has allowed five runs (a 1.41 ERA) with 32 strikeouts and 10 walks in 32 innings. He is the first Dodgers starter to win four games this season.
Capuano also extended his scoreless streak to 18 2/3 innings, dating back to his April 23 start against the Atlanta Braves.
Matt Kemp went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and is hitting .392/.474/.825 on the season. This is just the second game in 27 games this season after which Kemp's batting average wasn't at least .400. The other time was after the home opener on April 10, the fifth game of the year, when Kemp was hitting .333 (7-for-21). After he flew out to deep center field right in front of the 400-foot sign at the wall in the top of the third inning, Kemp was heard on microphone on the broadcast saying while laughing, "I hate this place."
Ronald Belisario made his first MLB appearance since October 1, 2010, pitching a perfect eighth inning with two groundouts and a strikeout
- Bobby Abreu's second-inning double was his first hit as a Dodger.
- Dee Gordon stole his 12th base of the season in the top of the fifth inning, thanks in large part to third baseman Ian Stewart dropping the throw from catcher Geovany Soto. It was Gordon's first steal of third base this season. Gordon is one steal behind Emilio Bonifacio of the Miami Marlins for the major league lead.
Ted Lilly was ejected by home plate umpire Tim Timmons in the top of the fifth inning for yelling something from the dugout during Bobby Abreu's at-bat, presumably for arguing a low strike call.
The Dodgers go for the series win on Sunday, with Aaron Harang on the hill. Matt Garza was pushed back for the second consecutive day with the flu, and the Cubs will recall Travis Wood from Triple A Iowa to start Sunday, per Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago. Wood already joined the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Saturday.
Home Runs: none
WP - Chris Capuano (4-0): 7 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
LP - Chris Volstad (0-4): 5 IP, 4 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout