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Dodgers erase early deficit but fall to Cubs anyway

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers clawed their way back from an early deficit, but a ninth-inning rally ended with Anthony Rizzo hitting a single to left field off Kenley Jansen to bring home Jon Jay with the winning run in a 3-2 Cubs victory.

The ninth inning started with Sergio Romo in his second inning of work, first allowing a single to Jay then a ground out by Tommy La Stella, the second of two straight left-handers Romo faced to start the inning. Rather than use Jansen at the start of the ninth, manager Dave Roberts opted to bring in Jansen with a runner in scoring position and one out, with the dynamic duo of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo due up.

Jansen got through one half of Bryzzo Souvenir Co. — striking out Bryant swinging — but not the other, as Rizzo lined a ball over third base for the winning hit.

The Dodgers tied the game in the eighth inning with a single by Logan Forsythe, then Justin Turner getting hit by a pitch on the right hand, and a ground out by Chase Utley that saw Addison Russell make one of the worst throws he will ever make trying in vain to turn two.

Russell’s throw was so bad that it allowed Forsythe to scamper home with the tying run, and conjured up thoughts of an ill-fated ceremonial first pitch.

Once down 2-0, the Dodgers put multiple runners on in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings, scoring single runs in two of those innings to tie the score.

Same old Lester

The Dodgers had their usual problems against Jon Lester, unable to score against him until the sixth inning, when three hits did the trick, culminating in an RBI double from Corey Seager. That was it in six innings against Lester, who struck out seven.

Since the beginning of 2016, Lester has allowed four total runs in five starts against the Dodgers, over 34 innings.

Close but no cigar

Two walks by reliever Carl Edwards Jr. and a catcher’s interference loaded the bases for the Dodgers with nobody out in the seventh inning, down a run. In came Justin Grimm for the Cubs, who ran the count to 3-0 against Joc Pederson in one of the the Dodgers’ best scoring chances of the night.

But Pederson, with the count full, popped out to short right field, not deep enough to score the tying run. Andrew Toles followed as a pinch hitter, and the fastest position player on the team saw his speed neutralized by a sharp ground ball to second base, a tailor-made double play to end the threat.

Dodgers pitching

Alex Wood started off well, but ran into trouble in both the third and fourth innings. He was hurt by a dropped foul pop fly down the right field line by Yasiel Puig in the third inning, an error charged to Puig even though it after came at the end of a long run. Wood also walked a pair in that inning, though the damage was just one run.

In the fourth inning, Wood walked two more, though one was intentional, and allowed a pair of singles for another run. Things could have been much worse as Wood exited with the bases loaded and two outs in the inning, but Ross Stripling got reigning MVP Kris Bryant to pop out to first base to keep the Cubs advantage at two runs at the time.

Wood walked five (one intentional) and struck out four in his 3⅔ innings.

Fields on fire

Josh Fields pitched a perfect sixth inning in relief, striking out two Cubs. Since he was recalled from Triple-A on Friday, Fields has faced eight batters — he struck out six, walked one, and induced a ground out.

Monday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Wade Davis (1-0): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout

LP - Sergio Romo (0-1): 1⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout