The Los Angeles Dodgers bats finally came alive in Sunday’s 10-run outburst against the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers hoped to bring those bats with them as they began a 10-game road trip starting in Chicago against the Cubs on Monday evening.
Clayton Kershaw, coming off what he called the most frustrating start of his career in a loss to the Texas Rangers, made his 15th start of the season. The Cubs countered with left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who was coming off his best start of the season.
Wada needed just 11 pitches to retire the Dodgers in order in the top of the first, striking out one. Anthony Rizzo, who has been tearing up left-handed pitching this season, continued to do so as he hit a one-out single off Kershaw in the bottom of the first. Kershaw then struck out Kris Bryant and got Starlin Castro to fly out to center to end the inning.
After the Dodgers were retired in order again in the second, Kershaw walked Chris Denorfia to start the bottom of the second. The Dodgers’ ace then got a groundout and two strikeouts to complete another scoreless inning.
Kiké Hernandez led off the top of the third with a line-drive homer to left. A.J. Ellis followed with a single, which marked the end of Wada’s day as he left the game with an apparent injury later revealed to be a cramping deltoid.
Travis Wood took over and he immediately got two outs as Kershaw hit into a 1-6-3 double play on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Wood walked Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson, but Puig got back picked off second base to end the inning.
The Cubs were able to get to Kershaw in the bottom of the third, as Dexter Fowler singled and then with two outs, Bryant hit a home run to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead through three. Bryant’s homer was the 10th surrendered by Kershaw on the season, which is already more than the nine he gave up in all of 2014.
Compounding matters, the home run came one pitch after Kershaw appeared to hit the outside corner for what should’ve been strike three to end the inning.
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