The Dodgers did what they do best again in a 7-5 victory over the Cubs Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. They hit three home runs, good for 51 long balls in the month of June.
Neither starting pitcher was particularly sharp, and the Cubs jumped ahead early against Alex Wood in the first inning. With two outs Javier Baez doubled to the right-center gap, and Willson Contreras followed with a two-run home run to the left field corner.
The Dodgers answered right back right when Max Muncy homered in the home half of the first off Kyle Hendricks, his 16th long ball on the season.
Then things got a bit heated. Justin Turner walked and advanced to third base on a Cody Bellinger single. Turner attempted to score on a Enrique Hernandez grounder to third baseman David Bote. Bote’s throw was right on target, and Turner took exception to Contreras’ tag at home plate on the slide. Words were exchanged, and Javy Baez got in between them to simmer things down. Turner returned to the dugout knowing that they were playing one man short. Matt Kemp had to sit the game out after his appeal of his one-game suspension stemming from another home plate altercation with Texas catcher Robinson Chirinos was denied.
Hendricks wasn’t fooling anyone. After the minor squabble between Turner and Contreras, Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run double to put the Dodgers ahead 3-2.
The home run parade continued in the second inning with a two-run shot by Joc Pederson. His 10th homer in June and the Dodgers’ 50th home run in the month of June. That ties him for the major league lead in home runs for the month. Enrique Hernandez, still hot, came up with a RBI single that extended L.A.’s lead to four runs.
It looked as though it was going to be a slugfest after the first two innings, but the game slowed down a bit and Wood settled in. The Chicago bullpen took over for Hendricks in the third, and pitched 5 1⁄3 scoreless frames thereafter.
There was a weird play in the top of the fifth that yielded the Cubs their third run of the night. Ian Happ came in to score from third on a soft dribbler up the first base line by Jason Heyward. Instead of letting the ball roll foul, Wood attempted to flip the ball with his glove to first. Muncy couldn’t handle it, allowing Happ to score.
The Cubs made it a one-run game in the eighth. Scott Alexander walked Heyward and gave up a single to Baez and a two-run double to Contreras. Dave Roberts had to bring in Kenley Jansen for the four-out save. Jansen struck out Addison Russell to end the threat and preserve the lead.
The Dodgers tacked on a much-needed insurance run in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a #BelliBomb to left-center field.
Kenley didn’t even need the insurance though and shut down the Cubbies in the ninth.
With the win the Dodgers improve to 17-6 in June, but they remain 2 1/2 games back of the D-backs in the NL West who beat the Marlins earlier in the day.
Alex Wood collected his first hit of 2018, a line drive single to left field in the second inning.
Wood looked healthy and pitched 7 innings, his longest outing since his first start of the year on March 30 vs. San Francisco when he went 8 innings.
Logan Forsythe was the only Dodger in the starting lineup without a base hit.
The Dodgers go for the series and season series win when the four-game set concludes Thursday afternoon with first pitch at 12:10 PM PT. The southpaw showdown features Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.94 ERA, 3.35 FIP) vs. Jose Quintana (6-6, 4.26 ERA, 4.37 FIP).
Home runs: Willson Contreras (6), Max Muncy (16), Joc Pederson (11), Cody Bellinger (16)
WP - Alex Wood (4-5): 7 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP - Kyle Hendricks (5-8): 2 2/3 IP, 8 hits, 6 runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
SV - Kenley Jansen (21): 1 1/3 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout