FINAL: Dodgers 1, Cubs 0
The National League Championship Series between the Cubs and Dodgers is tied at one game apiece.
The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez and Kenley Jansen to thank for that.
Kershaw pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball, Gonzalez led off the second inning with a homer against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks and Jansen pitched a perfect eighth and ninth to give the Dodgers a 1-0 victory in Game 2 Sunday night and split of the first two games at Wrigley Field.
The series shifts to Dodger Stadium for games 3, 4 and 5 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Jake Arrieta will start for the Cubs against Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill.
Jansen struck out four of the six Cubs he faced and collected the first six-out save of his career. Kershaw struck out six and walked two.
“Clayton is really special,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “For Kenley to get the last six outs, you couldn’t have scripted it any better.”
The Dodgers were held to three hits by five Cubs pitchers. The Cubs had two hits.
Cubs ninth: The Cubs have one last shot, and they bring the top of the order to face closer Kenley Jansen. But Dexter Fowler strikes out, Kris Bryant strikes out and Anthony Rizzo lined out to Chase Utley to end the game.
Dodgers ninth: With the Cubs trailing 1-0, Aroldis Chapman takes over in a non-save situation to start the inning. Joc Pederson led off with a walk, stole second and was bunted to third but Chapman stranded him there by retiring Kike Hernandez on a short fly to center field and and Yasiel Puig on pop-up to Chapman.
Cubs eighth: Jansen, he of the nasty cutter, took over for Clayton Kershaw to start the inning. Jansen recorded a perfect inning, striking out Willson Contreras to start it and pinch-hitter Miguel Miguel — the Game 1 grand-slamming hero — to end it.
Jansen hasn’t allowed a run in 11 appearances at Wrigley Field.
Kershaw’s line: 7 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts. He threw 84 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Dodgers eighth: Pedro Strop takes over for the Cubs on the mound, hits Justin Turner on an arm pad but gets a double play and a tap back to the mound to keep the deficit at 1-0.
Cubs seventh: Anthony Rizzo leads off with a four-pitch walk, the first walk of the night for Clayton Kershaw. Ben Zobrist caught a break when catcher Yasmani Grandal dropped a foul pop-up near the wall, but Kershaw — who smiled off the miscue — got Zobrist looking at strike three before Addison flied out to left for the second out.
Congressman Mike Quigley, by the way, showed better hands than Grandal on Zobrist foul balls. Sitting in the upper deck behind home plate, Quigley cleanly snared a souvenir off Zobrist’s bat.
After manager Dave Roberts came out to talk to Kershaw, Javier Baez excited the crowd with a deep drive to center, but the ball — with exit velocityof 103 mph off the bat — was caught by Joc Pederson on the warning track to end the inning:
Kershaw is at 84 pitches but is showing signs of tiring. He has labored hard in this one-run battle. Wh
Dodgers seventh: Left-hander Mike Montgomery has entered to open the inning for the Cubs. He wraps walks to Yasmani Grandal and Chase Utley around a grounder by pinch-hitter Kike Hernandez and strikeout out of Clayton Kershaw before getting Corey Seager on an inning-ending liner to left.
The Dodgers are 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The Cubs are 0-for-1.
Kershaw heads back to the mound looking fresh and sharp, at 72 pitches, working on a two-hit shutout.
There were five hits in the first six innings, two by the Cubs.
Cubs sixth: The Cubs got Clayton Kershaw for two hits — their only two of the game — in the previous inning. But Kershaw got back to posting hitless frames in the sixth by retiring pinch-hitter Jorge Soler (strikeout), Dexter Fowler (foul pop to the catcher) and Kris Bryant (grounder to third).
Dodgers sixth: After the first call to the bullpen, to right-hander C.J. Edwards for starter Kyle Hendricks, a heads-up play by second baseman Javier Baez results in an inning-ending double play. Baez, playing deep on the grass, let Joc Pederson’s soft liner hit the ground and forced out Josh Reddick at second. Adrian Gonzalez, who held up between second and third, was caught in a rundown by shortstop Addison Russell.
Baez has done a lot of everything in the postseason, offensively and defensively.
Carl Edwards Jr. came on to face Joc Pederson with runners at first and second and the Dodgers up 1-0. Hendricks walked Gonzalez with one out and gave up a single to left by Reddick.
Here is Hendricks’ line: 5 1/3 IP, 3 hits, 1 run (earned), 4 walks, 5 strikeouts.
A two-run lead will look big for Clayton Kershaw, who is breezing with a two-hitter. The Dodgers also have tough closer Kenley Jansen ready with two days rest after that 51-pitch marathon in Game 5 of the NLDS.
Cubs fifth: Clayton Kershaw retired the first 14 Cubs he faced before Javier Baez singled with two outs in the fifth inning. Willson Contreras then singled Baez to second, but Jason Heyward — the Cubs’ $184 million outfielder moved down to eighth in manager Joe Maddon’s lineup Sunday — fouled out to third baseman Justin Turner to end the Cubs’ first threat.
Kershaw had been dominant before Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell flew out deep to open the inning.
Dodgers fifth: Hendricks allows only the second Dodgers hit, a single to center by Clayton Kershaw — who is doing it all tonight. But Hendricks, with the Cubs bullpen stirring, retires Chase Utley and Corey Seager on harmless ground balls to end the inning and keep the Dodgers lead at 1.
Cubs fourth: Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw continues to cruise with his fourth perfect inning. He gets Dexter Fowler, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo on ground balls.
Kershaw has thrown 40 pitches, 27 for strikes, and has four strikeouts.
Dodgers fourth: Cubs right-hander Hendricks retires the side in order. Due up for in fourth for Cubs vs. Kershaw, who hasn’t allowed a baserunner: Top of the order with Fowler, Bryant and Rizzo.
Cubs third: Kershaw is on top of his game in Game 2 of the NLCS. The Dodgers three-time Cy Young Award winner has retired the first nine Cubs he’s faced, including four strikeouts. He got Willson Contreras on three pitches looking and also struck out Hendricks to end the frame.
Dodgers third: Hendricks issued two-out walks to Corey Seager and Justin Upton but struck out Adrian Gonzalez to escape any damage. Hendricks has walked three and allowed a solo homer to Gonzalez in the second.
Cubs second: Kershaw, protecting a 1-0 lead, works his second perfect inning, capped by a strikeout of Javier Baez on a 95-mph fastball.
Dodgers second: Adrian Gonzalez led off with an opposite field homer into the first rows of the left-center field bleachers against Kyle Hendricks to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Hendricks walked Yasmani Grandal with two outs, but prevented any more damage.
Cubs first: Clayton Kershaw looks sharp and is painting the corners early, setting down the Cubs in order including a called third strike on Kris Bryant. Dexter Fowler tried bunting on third baseman Justin Turner but was retired at first.
Dodgers first: Hendricks looked up to the challenge of opposing Clayton Kershaw, striking out Chase Utley, Corey Seager and Justin Turner in order in the first inning.
Former Cubs MVP and current Hall of Famer Andre Dawson threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Wayne Messmer will sang “God Bless America” and the National Anthem.
The game is broadcast on FoxSports1 and 670-AM.
Bottom first: Fowler, Bryant, Rizzo due up.
Chase Utley 2B
Corey Seager SS
Justin Turner 3B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Josh Reddick RF
Joc Pederson CF
Yasmani Grandal C
Andrew Toles LF
Clayton Kershaw P
Dexter Fowler CF
Kris Bryant 3B
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Ben Zobrist LF
Addison Russell SS
Javier Baez 2B
Willson Contreras C
Jason Heyward RF
Kyle Hendricks P
The Dodgers are stacking their batting order with eight hitters batting from the left side, including switch-hitter Yasmani Grandal, against right-hander Kyle Hendricks.
“Kyle’s actually been really good against lefties,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “The biggest thing is to not change your game plan or not to — I think the biggest trap there would be, to try to avoid contact. He needs to pitch to contact. And he needs to be aggressive like he always is.”
Left-hander Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers. Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young winner, was 12-4 with a 1.49 ERA this season. He was on the disabled list with a mild herniated disc in his low back from July 1 to Sept. 8.
Kershaw was 1-0 with a save and a 5.84 ERA in three games in the NLDS against the Nationals. He is 3-6 with a 4.79 ERA in 16 postseason games, including 12 starts.
Hendricks, a 2016 Cy Young candidate with a 16-8 record and 2.13 ERA during the regular season, was knocked out of his start against the Giants in Game 2 of the NLDS when he was struck in the right forearm by a line drive off the bat of Angel Pagan.
The Cubs defeated the Dodgers 8-4 in Game 1 Saturday night.