LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chase Utley long ago earned his reputation. Chris Taylor is fast developing one of his own for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Utley drove in three runs with a pair of two-out singles and Taylor delivered a two-run homer to carry the Dodgers past the Chicago Cubs, 5-0 on Saturday.
“We know what Chase can do, and that it would be just a matter of time before he got out of whatever he was in,” said Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal. “He’s been really good for like 40 years, right? It was nice to see the back-to-back homers (on Thursday and Friday night) and now these hits today.”
Utley’s two-out single in the fourth scored the Dodgers’ first run, and his two-out, bases-loaded single in the fifth made the score 5-0.
“The guy is a pro. He has been doing this work for a long time,” Chicago starter John Lackey said.
Taylor, a fourth-year infielder with three minor league games and three games in center field for Los Angeles, hit a two-run homer in a four-run fifth, and also cut down Ian Rapp trying to stretch a single into a double to end the fourth inning.
“Taking on a new position, being moved around the order, really sporadic playing time until recently, and delivering big hits, quality at-bats every time he steps in the box,” manager Dave Roberts said. “That competing is contagious, and the way he runs the bases, the way he cares, he studies, he’s what we are about.”
Taylor is hitting .338 in May, playing second, third and center field, depending on where the Dodgers need a fill-in.
“I don’t care where I am,” Taylor said. “I just want to be on the field. I’m just happy I’m helping the team.”
Brandon McCarthy and Ross Stripling combined on a three-hitter that gave Los Angeles its eighth win in 10 games.
McCarthy (5-1) allowed two-out singles to Happ in the fourth and Addison Russell in the fifth. He struck out six and walked one, winning his second straight start and lowering his ERA to 3.28.
McCarthy reported pain in his right knee to the trainers in the fourth inning, Roberts said. McCarthy left Dodger Stadium to have the knee examined before the game ended.
Stripling gave up Miguel Montero’s leadoff single in the eighth and finished for his second professional save, his first since 2013 with Double-A Chattanooga.
Chicago has been shut out in three consecutive road games and held scoreless in four of its last six games away from Wrigley Field, scoring five runs in that span. The Cubs have not scored in 29 consecutive road innings, including a 3-0 defeat to St. Louis on May 14, and a 4-0 loss to the Dodgers on Friday night.
“I don’t think it is struggles on the road, I think we are playing good ballclubs right now,” Russell said.
Lackey (4-5) gave up five runs, six hits and four walks in six innings.
“They really have made very few, if any, mistakes against us and we have not taken advantage of anything,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. “We have hit some balls well but they have been foul balls. Otherwise, our contact has been rather weak the last two days.”
Happ appeared to stretch a single into a double in the fourth, beating Corey Seager’s tag, but a video review ruled he came off the base from the momentum of his hard slide.
As part of a league-wide tribute to the nation’s military, the Cubs and Dodgers wore olive green hats and uniforms accented with olive-green lettering.
Cubs: Ben Zobrist was scratched from the Cubs’ lineup with a sore left wrist, giving Happ his first start at second base since his debut May 13. Maddon, who had Zobrist in his original starting lineup, preferred to keep his utilityman as a possible pinch hitter or late replacement.
Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner (strained right hamstring) is eligible to come off the DL Monday but will need more time. He is expected to make at least one minor league rehab start and Roberts said Turner might return toward the end of a road trip that finishes June 4 in Milwaukee.
Clayton Kershaw (7-2) starts for the Dodgers on Sunday in a marquee matchup that features Jon Lester (3-2) for the Cubs. Lester is coming off a four-hitter in a win over San Francisco in which he struck out 10. Lester has a 0.86 ERA in his last three regular-season starts against the Dodgers. Kershaw matched a season high with 10 strikeouts and walked none in his last start, against St. Louis. He has held the Cubs to a .218 batting average in eight starts, striking out 68 in 53 2/3 innings.