After going a disappointing 3-5 on their road trip, the Los Angeles Dodgers were back home Friday night to open a six-game homestand beginning with a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs.
Dexter Fowler didn’t hang around long in the first inning, lining out to a diving Kiké Hernandez on Clayton Kershaw’s first offering of the game. Kershaw then struck out Chris Denorfia and Kris Bryant to give him 29 consecutive scoreless innings at home, which is an MLB high this season.
Jason Hammel matched Kershaw’s effort by setting the Dodgers down in order to complete a scoreless first inning. Kershaw’s string of strikeouts carried over into the second inning as he got Anthony Rizzo to chase a pitch outside of the zone for the first out.
Matt Szczur hit a two-out double to the left-center field gap, but was stranded as Miguel Montero struck out swinging. Prior to the bottom of the second inning beginning, the Dodgers announced hall of fame broadcaster Vin Scully will return in 2016 for a 67th season.
Andre Ethier collected the Dodgers first hit of the night as he doubled to left field with one out and it was followed by Carl Crawford drawing a walk. However, Hammel worked himself out of trouble by striking out Yasmani Grandal and Kiké Hernandez to keep the game locked in a scoreless tie.
Fowler reached on an infield single in the third, then was forced out at second base on the next pitch as Denorfia grounded to Jimmy Rollins to end the inning. Rollins beat the shift with a single to left in the bottom of the third. He then came around to score on Chase Utley’s RBI triple and the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead.
Utley advanced to third on the throw home, where he was stranded by Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner.