Cubs Can’t Buy a Run – Cubs 0, Dodgers 1

Game One Hundred Eleven – Cubs 0, Dodgers 1

WP – Stephen Fife (4-3) LP – Carlos Villanueva (2-8) Save – Kenley Jansen (17)

The Cubs ended a frustrating homestand by being shutout for the second day in a row by the Dodgers. The Cubs did not manage a single run over the last 23 innings of the series and scored only two runs on 29 hits over the last three games. The red-hot Dodgers completed their first four-game sweep at Wrigley Field since July of 1988.

Carlos Villanueva settled down after a shaky start and allowed one run on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Villanueva labored through the first two innings and the only run in the game scored after Villanueva issued a leadoff walk to Hanley Ramirez in the second inning. A.J. Ellis singled in Ramirez two batters later. The Cubs’ offense allowed the run to hold up.

Carlos Villanueva threw 101 pitches, 64 for strikes, before turning the game over to the bullpen. James Russell and Pedro Strop kept the Dodgers off the board over the final three innings.

The Cubs put two runners on base in the first and third innings and loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning but could not push across one run. The Cubs outhit the Dodgers 7-2 on Sunday afternoon and had plenty of chances to put runs on the board over the first six innings of the game. The Cubs went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.

Dioner Navarro (2-for-4 with a double) managed the Cubs’ only extra basehit. Nate Schierholtz (2-for-4) and David DeJesus (1-for-3 with a walk) reached base twice and Logan Watkins (1-for-4) collected his first big league hit in his Major League debut.

Hanley Ramirez left game with an injured right shoulder after tumbling into the stands catching a foul ball off the bat of David DeJesus to start the seventh inning.

The Cubs dropped to 15-24 in one-run games this season and finished the eight-game homestand with a 1-7 record.

With Sunday’s loss (7-11 on Sundays in 2013), the Cubs dropped to 49-62 on the season, 13 games below .500.

Carlos Villanueva started his afternoon by retiring the Dodgers in order on 17 pitches, 12 for strikes.

The Cubs could not push across a run in the first inning after David DeJesus walked to start the inning. Junior Lake flied out to right. Anthony Rizzo shattered his bat and hit a grounder to first. Adrian Gonzalez fielded the ball and threw to second. DeJesus was forced for the second out. With Rizzo at first with two down, Dioner Navarro drove a 0-1 pitch down the left field line. Carl Crawford ran toward the line and cut the ball off just before it skipped past him and into the corner. Crawford’s play kept Rizzo from scoring on Navarro’s double. Nate Schierholtz rolled Stephen Fife’s first pitch to Mark Ellis at second base to end the inning. Fife threw 18 pitches in the first, 11 for strikes.

Carlos Villanueva issued back-to-back walks to Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier to start the second inning. A.J. Ellis followed with a single to center. Ramirez scored, 1-0 Dodgers. With runners on first and second with no outs, Skip Schumaker flied out to right center. Both runners held. Juan Uribe flied out to center and Villanueva struck out Fife to end the inning.

Carlos Villanueva needed 43 pitches (26 strikes) to record the first six outs of the game.

The Cubs did nothing in the second and trailed 1-0 after two innings on Sunday.

Carlos Villanueva righted his ship in the third and retired the side in order.

The Cubs inability to hit with runners in scoring position kept them off the board in the bottom of the third. David DeJesus blooped a one out single to left and went to third on a two-out single to center by Anthony Rizzo. Dioner Navarro grounded out to third to end the inning.

Carlos Villanueva gave up his second hit of the game to Andre Ethier with one out in the fourth. After Ramirez flied out to left for the first out, Andre Ethier doubled to left center. Villanueva retired A.J. Ellis (3-2 pitch) on a pop out to left and Schumaker on a flyout to center to end the inning. Villanueva threw 69 pitches, 43 for strikes, over the first four innings.

Nate Schierholtz led off the Cubs’ fourth with a single to center. Ransom popped out to short for the first out. Logan Watkins worked a 3-1 count before pulling the fifth pitch of the at bat to the hole at second. Mark Ellis ranged over, snagged the ball and took Watkins’ first hit away from him. Schierholtz advanced to second on the play. Fife missed on his first two offerings to Donnie Murphy then just walked him. With two on and two down, Villanueva tapped out to Ramirez for the third out.

After four at bats, the Cubs were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.

Carlos Villanueva continued using the wind to his advantage and retired the side in order in the fifth. Villanueva needed 84 pitches, 53 for strikes, to complete five innings on Sunday.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth … and the game went to the sixth with the Cubs down 1-0.

Carlos Villanueva worked around a leadoff walk to Mark Ellis in the sixth without allowing the Dodgers to tack onto their lead. Villanueva threw 101 pitches over six innings, 64 for strikes.

Dioner Navarro and Nate Schierholtz reached on back-to-back singles to start the sixth. Ransom struck out swinging for the first out (2-2 pitch, ninth pitch of the at bat).

Logan Watkins fell behind 0-2, worked a full count then punched a high fastball into left just out of the reach of Hanley Ramirez. Navarro stopped at third on Watkins’ first big league hit. With the bases loaded and one out, Don Mattingly went to his pen and replaced Fife with Chris Withrow.

Donnie Murphy popped out to Hanley Ramirez in shallow left (infield fly). Cole Gillespie hit for Villanueva and grounded out to first base to end the inning.

The Cubs outhit the Dodgers over the first six innings (7-2) but were down 1-0 after going 1-for-7 with RISP and leaving nine men on base.

The game remained 1-0 Dodgers through the seventh and eighth innings. Pedro Strop completed his second inning of work by working around a leadoff walk to Nick Punto in the ninth without allowing any runs. The game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs down 1-0.

Logan Watkins led off the ninth and looked at a 1-2 pitch from Kenley Jansen for the first out. Starlin Castro hit for Donnie Murphy and struck out swinging. Welington Castillo hit for Pedro Strop and struck out swinging to end the game.

Monday is a day off for the Cubs. Dale Sveum’s team opens a six-game road trip on Tuesday in Philadelphia with the first of three against the Phillies. Edwin Jackson is scheduled to face Kyle Kendrick in game one.

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