The Dodgers needed five pitchers on Thursday afternoon, but it was enough, as they defeated the Chicago Cubs 2-1.
Getting the start for LA was Ross Stripling, who was just one out shy of going the required five innings to get the decision. Stripling, likely making his last start as he’ll be moved to the bullpen, threw 4 2⁄3 innings of scoreless ball. He struck out six and walked only one.
It seemed like the Cubs repeatedly had runners in scoring position against Stripling. In both the first and second inning, Chicago had two runners on base. He was able to escape both situations untouched.
For the second consecutive game, Chris Taylor brought in a run. Just like last night’s game, it was anything but routine. After Alex Verudgo led the inning off with a triple, Taylor reached on an error from Javier Baez, giving LA the 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers were able to load the bases in the eighth without even recording a hit. Cody Bellinger, the hottest hitter in baseball, just missed hitting a grand slam that likely would have put the game away. Instead, he got an RBI sacrifice fly, which gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
That run would pay major dividends, as Kenley Jansen allowed a run to score in the bottom of the ninth. Ultimately, he was able to secure the save, and give the Dodgers a much-needed win as they head back to Los Angeles.
WP: Pedro Baez (2-1) 1 1⁄3 IP, 3 SO, 0 ER
LP: Jon Lester (1-1) 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 SO
SV: Kenley Jansen (8) 1 IP, 1 ER
Home runs: Albert Almora Jr. (1)
The Dodgers head home where they’ll square off against the Pirates for three games. Hyun-Jin Ryu will be making his second start since his stint on the IL. First pitch is at 7:10 pm PT on SportsNet LA.