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Lester, Wrigley Field shut out Dodgers in rubber game

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers lost 4-0 to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. Jon Lester wasn’t sharp, but the Cubs used their excellent defense and ability to adapt to their home field weather conditions to stifle the Dodgers’ bats in the rubber game.

It was the first time the Dodgers have been shut out since May 6 in Mexico, a 3-0 loss to the San Diego Padres. It’s their first series loss since losing two of three in Miami last month.

The Cubs used the hit-and-run perfectly to scratch a run across in the first against Ross Stripling, the first first-inning run he allowed this year. Stripling pitched well, and did not walk a batter in six innings of work, but didn’t get any early run support.

The Dodgers got a huge call in their favor in the bottom of the second inning. Javier Baez thought he scored from third on a Stripling wild pitch, but the third base umpire Brian Gorman ruled that Lester swung at the pitch and struck out for the third out.

It was another story of missed opportunities for the Dodgers on Sunday. After wasting a Max Muncy double in the first, Chris Taylor was gunned down at the plate by Jason Heyward in right field denying the Dodgers the tying run in the second. They went 1-for-6 with RISP and left seven men on base.

Kyle Schwarber crushed a solo home run in the fourth to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead, his second home run of the wind-whipped series. Chicago added a third run in the fifth thanks to a Javy Baez double and Bryant RBI single. Yimi Garcia allowed another run to the Cubbies in the seventh.

To rub more salt in the wound, Taylor was removed from the game due to left hamstring tightness. He fouled a pitch off his left ankle in the first inning.

Matt Kemp went 0-for-11 in the three-game series.

The Dodgers will get another shot at the Cubs next week at Dodger Stadium when they host them for a four-game set May 25-28.

Up next

The Dodgers have an off day Thursday, then they head to the Big Apple for a weekend series against the Mets. Chase Utley is expected to be activated on Friday, to the delight of the Mets fans I’m sure. The first pitch of Friday’s opener is at 4:10 p.m. PT. Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22 ERA, 3.31 FIP) will face Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82 ERA, 3.81 FIP).

Wednesday particulars

Home runs: Kyle Schwarber (14)

WP - Jon Lester (9-2): 7 IP, 5 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout

LP - Ross Stripling (6-2): 6 IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts