FINAL: Dodgers 6, Cubs 0
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LOS ANGELES – Two losses, two shutouts.
Simply put, too much Dodgers pitching. And not nearly enough Cubs hitting.
A 6-0 Dodgers victory Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium has placed the favored Cubs in a 2-1 hole in the National League Championship Series.
Blanked 1-0 by Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen in Game 2 Sunday at Wrigley Field after they took the opener by an 8-4 score, the Cubs were handcuffed by former Cub Rich Hill (six innings, two hits) and three relievers including Jansen, who got the final four outs for his second save in as many games.
Jake Arrieta allowed a two-run homer to catcher Yasmani Grandal, a solo shot to Justin Turner and an RBI single to Corey Seager (3-for-4). He lasted five-plus innings. The Dodgers added two runs in the eighth against left-hander Mike Montgomery.
The Dodgers out-hit the Cubs 10-4.
Game 4 is Wednesday (7:08 p.m., FoxSports1, 670-AM), with Dodgers prized rookie left-hander Julio Urias pitching against Cubs veteran right-hander John Lackey.
Dodgers eighth: Yasiel Puig scores from first on a double by Joc Pederson against lefty Mike Montgomery. Puig steals third easily when Montgomery fails to check him at second, then scores on a grounder to Javier Baez, who has moved over from second to shortstop. Baez had a play on Puig but bobbled the ball and settled for the out at first.
Cubs eighth: Dexter Fowler doubled with two outs, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts doesn’t mess around with Kris Bryant coming up. He goes to closer Kenley Jansen, who strikes out Bryant to end the inning.
Dodgers seventh: They do not score against right-hander Justin Grimm, but the way the Cubs are hitting, they aren’t exactly desperate for tack-on runs.
Cubs seventh: The streak hits 16. That’s innings without a run. Joe Blanton replaced Rich Hill and tacked on a perfect inning. Hill’s line: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 6 K, 2 BB.
And there’s this:
Blanton, who was pinch hit for in the bottom of the inning, gave up the Miguel Montero grand slam and Dexter Fowler homer in the eighth inning of Game 1. The Cubs haven’t scored since.
Dodgers sixth: It’s all Dodgers tonight. Justin Turner led off the sixth with a home run, their second against Jake Arrieta in this pivotal Game 3. And with that, manager Joe Maddon pulls the 2015 Cy Young Award winner in favor of lefty Travis Wood.
Arrieta’s line: 5+ IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks. He threw 83 pitches.
Cubs sixth: The Cubs, quite obviously, are in trouble if they don’t start hitting. Like now.
Kris Bryant’s single to left was only the Cubs’ second hit of this game. The other was Bryant’s two-out single in the third. Rich Hill, whose career began with the Cubs, has just completed his sixth scoreless inning, and the way the Cubs are hitting, and with Kenley Jansen looming at the back of the Dodgers bullpen, a three-run deficit looks even bigger.
The Cubs, shut out in Game 2, haven’t scored in 15 innings.
Dodgers fifth: Jake Arrieta pitches a perfect inning, striking out Corey Seager to end it.
Cubs fifth: A second consecutive perfect inning for Rich Hill, who has allowed one hit and retired 11 of the last 12 Cubs. Jake Arrieta, trailing 3-0, is allowed to bat for himself with two outs and nobody on, and strikes out for the second time.
Dodgers fourth: Yasmani Grandal’s two-run homer with two outs against Jake Arrieta gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.
With Josh Reddick (one-out single) on third, Grandal hit a 3-2 fastball that looked to be below the knees and drove it over the right-center field wall. Reddick hit one off Arrieta’s glove, the ball caroming to second baseman Javy Baez, who tried a barehand play while charging but could not come up with the ball.
This is a pitching matchup that favored the Cubs but the Dodgers have out-hit the them 5-1 and are looking to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Cubs fourth: Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill has retired eight of the last nine Cubs he’s faced, including a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth ending with a called third strike against Jorge Soler. Hill is about to notch his longest outing in three postseason starts for the Dodgers.
Dodgers third: The Dodgers scored the game’s first run on against Jake Arrieta Corey Seager’s one-hop single to right fielder Jorge Soler, scoring Andrew Toles. Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill bunted Toles, who led off with a single to left, into scoring position.
Soler, playing in place of Jason Heyward for his bat, is off to a shaky start. His throw home sailed over the head of cutoff man Anthony Rizzo, allowing Seager to take second. Soler also ran into center fielder Dexter Fowler on a fly ball caught by Fowler. Neither play had consequences for the Cubs, however.
Cubs third: Kris Bryant singled between shortstop and second base with two outs, but that’s all the Cubs could muster against Rich Hill.
Dodgers second: Outfielders Jorge Soler and Dexter Fowler collided near the warning track but the contact was uneventful and Fowler, the center fielder, made the catch of a Josh Reddick deep fly ball for the first out. After that, Jake Arrieta recorded his first two strikeouts, getting Joc Pederson swinging and Yasmani Grandal looking. Grandal didn’t like ump Gary Cederstrom’s call.
Cubs second: Shortstop Addison Russell, moved down to seventh in the order with an .045 batting average in the postseason, struck out against Rich Hill with runners on second and third, and catcher Miguel Montero grounded out to second to leave Hill unscathed.
A big walk: Cleanup man Anthony Rizzo coaxed a tough walk out of Hill leading off, and drew a pair of pickoff attempts from Hill which almost got away from first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. After Javier Baez popped out, Rizzo got a big jump and stole second without a throw from Grandal, the catcher.
Hill walked Jorge Soler on a full count, and a passed ball on Grandal put two runners in scoring position for Russell, who went down swinging on Hill’s bread and butter pitch, the curveball.
Dodgers first: Corey Seager lined a one-out single to left, but that is all the Dodgers got against Jake Arrieta. Arrieta, who threw a no-hitter here in August of 2015, threw 18 pitches.
Cubs first: Rich Hill retired the Cubs in order in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLCS, a perfect start for the former Cub in the pivotal game of the series.
Dexter Fowler popped up to short center, Kris Bryant struck out looking and Ben Zobrist — batting third in manager Joe Maddon’s shuffled lineup — flied out to center.
Jason Heyward was on on the bench, with Jorge Soler taking his place in right field. Maddon shook up his lineup by also moving Anthony Rizzo to fourth and Ben Zobrist up to third in his batting order. The two are switching places in their customary spots. Maddon also moved shortstop Addison Russell down to seventh.
Here’s how Maddon will line his team up against Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill tonight (7:08 p.m. Central, FoxSports1, 670-AM):
Dexter Fowler CF
Kris Bryant 3B
Ben Zobrist LF
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Javier Baez 2B
Jorge Soler RF
Addison Russell SS
Miguel Montero C
Jake Arrieta P
Chase Utley 2B
Corey Seager SS
Justin Turner 3B
Adrian González 1B
Josh Reddick RF
Joc Pederson CF
Yasmani Grandal C
Andrew Toles LF
Rich Hill P