Game Eighty-Eight – Cubs 7 Dodgers 3
WP – Tom Gorzelanny (4-5) LP – John Ely (4-7) Save – None
The Cubs picked up their first win at Dodger Stadium this year behind an excellent outing by Tom Gorzelanny … and big days from Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto. While Gorzelanny was busy sitting down the Dodgers, Castro and Soto were busy driving in runs.
Starlin Castro drove in the games first run with a single to center in the second. Castro was along for the ride on Geovany Soto’s ninth homer of the season. Soto’s two-run shot gave Gorzelanny a little breathing room.
Castro and Soto drove in two of the Cubs’ three runs in the third. After Alfonso Soriano worked a bases loaded walk that forced in Lee with the Cubs fourth run, Starlin Castro plated Aramis Ramirez with the Cubs’ fifth run. Geovany Soto then delivered a two-out RBI single to complete the scoring in the third … Soto is 15-for-his-last-35.
Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI) and Geovany Soto (3-for-4 with a two-run homer, three RBI and a run scored) drove in five of the Cubs seven runs … and notched five of the Cubs’ nine hits.
The Cubs first six runs were driven in by the sixth (Soriano), seventh (Castro) and eighth (Soto) hitters in Lou’s lineup.
Aramis Ramirez stayed hot and raised his season average all the way to .209. Ramirez hit his 10th longball of the year in the seventh … Ramirez’s dinger Saturday afternoon was his fourth since Tuesday in Arizona.
Tom Gorzelanny pitched better than his line indicates. Gorzelanny retired the Dodgers lead off hitter in the first four innings, which was the key to his success. Gorzelanny gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits in six innings. Gorzelanny walked one and struck out seven … Saturday was Gorzelanny’s second win on the Cubs’ current seven-game trip.
Sean Marshall, Andrew Cashner and James Russell kept the Dodgers off the board in the late innings. Carlos Marmol pitched the ninth and gave up the Dodgers third run. Marmol walked Blake DeWitt to start the inning then gave up back-to-back two-out singles to Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp. Marmol retired James Loney on a looping line drive to Starlin Castro.
Lou Piniella was ejected for arguing a close call in the fifth inning. Xavier Paul was called safe on a grounder to Derrek Lee. Replays showed Tom Gorzelanny beat Paul to the bag. Paul ended up scoring the Dodgers first run of the game and Piniella “discussed” the missed call with Jerry Layne in between innings. Piniella’s ejection was his first this season and the first since August 9, 2009. Saturday was the sixth time Piniella has been ejected during his tenure with Cubs … and the 65th time in his managerial career
Ryan Theriot walked twice Saturday afternoon, first multi-walk game for Theriot since June 18 … only the fourth two-walk game for Theriot this season.
Saturday’s victory guaranteed the Cubs a winning road trip. Lou’s crew is 4-2 and has scored 39 runs in last six games. With the win, the Cubs improved to 39-49 on the year, 10 games below the mediocre mark … Tom Gorzelanny pitched a very good game, set the tone early on and worked around two more errors by the Cubs defense … and an additional mistake that was originally ruled an error. Any time a pitcher faces a team of the Dodgers caliber and his defense commits three errors while he allows only one earned run, that pitcher had a good afternoon. And that was the case Saturday afternoon
The Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Marlon Byrd walked and advanced to second on a weakly hit grounder to short by Alfonso Soriano. Starlin Castro ripped John Ely’s first pitch back up the middle. Byrd scored and gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
Geovany Soto then launched Ely’s first pitch into the stands in left center. Soto’s ninth longball of the season gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Tom Gorzelanny survived a 12-pitch at bat from James Loney to start the bottom of the second. Gorzelanny struck out the Dodgers’ first baseman and then worked around a two-out walk by A.J. Ellis and a single by Xavier Paul. Gorzelanny struck out John Ely … and the Cubs went back to work.
Derrek Lee reached on a one-out single to left center. Aramis Ramirez notched an infield single off John Ely then Ely hit Marlon Byrd to load the bases.
Alfonso Soriano showed a lot of patience and took a five-pitch walk that forced in Lee with the Cubs’ fourth run. Joe Torre made the slow walk and replaced John Ely with Travis Schlichting.
Starlin Castro drove in his second run of the game with a single to left. But Marlon Byrd was thrown out the plate by Xavier Paul … A.J. Ellis took the hit from Byrd on the collision at the plate. Alfonso Soriano advanced to third on the play.
Geovany Soto singled to right on a 0-1 offering from Schlichting. Soriano scored and the Cubs took a 6-0 lead.
The Dodgers broke up the shutout in the bottom of the fifth … with a little help from first base umpire, Jerry Layne.
Xavier Paul reached on an infield single to first base. It was a close play but replays showed Paul was out. The Dodgers put the leadoff runner on for the first time. Blake DeWitt hit for Schlichting and struck out swinging. Rafael Furcal then singled to left with one out. Paul held at second but advanced to third on a fly out to right by Jamey Carroll.
Andre Either blooped a single into left center. Paul scored and so did Furcal on a throwing error by Marlon Byrd. Ethier ended up at third but was stranded when Matt Kemp flied out to right.
Lou Piniella argued with Jerry Layne on the call in between innings and was ejected for the first time in 2010.
The game remained 6-2 until the seventh.
Aramis Ramirez gave the Cubs a 7-2 lead with his 10th homer of the season. Ramirez launched the first pitch he saw from Carlos Monasterious over the wall in center. Saturday’s dinger was Ramirez’s fourth since Tuesday.
Andrew Cashner took over for Sean Marshall in the eighth. Cashner retired the first two batters he faced then issued back-to-back two out walks to Ronnie Belliard and Russell Martin (Martin was pinch-hitting for A.J. Ellis). Alan Trammell brought in James Russell to face Xavier Paul … and the rookie southpaw struck out Paul to end the inning.
The Cubs free-swinging offense continued their bad habits Saturday afternoon. After striking out 13 times Thursday and Friday, Lou’s offense struck out nine times Saturday … and they walked just four times.
The Cubs were charged with two more errors … numbers 68 and 69 of the year. The two mistakes led to the Cubs 57th unearned run of the year, the worst in the majors.
It was good to see Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto lead the way to victory Saturday afternoon.
Carlos Silva was cleared to start the finale of the road trip Sunday night. Silva will face Vicente Padilla in the final game of the year with the Dodgers.