Cubs-Dodgers Preview

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LOS ANGELES -- Sweet home Chicago.

Although the Cubs have captured the season series, they would enjoy even more ending their nine-game road trip by winning the rubber match of their three-game set Sunday with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cubs have posted a 5-3 mark so far against Colorado (1-2), San Diego (3-0) and Los Angeles (1-1). They have beaten the Dodgers in four of their six meetings this season.

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager and the Dodgers, who won Saturday's contest 3-2, are itching to hand the Cubs a second straight loss. The Dodgers rookie made it a point to keep his enthusiasm in check though, refusing to add any fuel to the Cubs' fire.

"We came out on top (Saturday) and hopefully we'll come out on top (Sunday) and win the series," Seager said.

It's a good bet Seager will play a role again in the outcome. Seager homered in Saturday's win and broke the franchise record for long balls in a season by a shortstop.

In addition, Seager has been one of the Dodgers' hottest hitters. He is batting .452 with four home runs, six doubles and 10 RBIs since Aug. 8. Seager has hit safely in 17 of the last 18 games.

Los Angeles will rely on starter Brock Stewart (0-2, 11.25) to deliver in his third career major league start (fourth appearance) after being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday. Stewart will be facing the Cubs for the first time.

Manager Dave Roberts said one of the keys to beating the Cubs is keeping them off the board early.

"The Cubs are very good in the first inning," Roberts said. "Their guys get on you early and they just keep swarming and adding on."

Stewart last pitched on Aug. 19 with Oklahoma City against Albuquerque, allowing four hits in five scoreless innings.

Stewart will oppose Chicago's Jon Lester, who will make his 26th start of the season. In his last start on Aug. 22 at San Diego, Lester allowed a run on five hits in six innings in a 5-1 Chicago romp. It was the fifth straight quality start for Lester, who is 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA during that stretch.

The Cubs are 7-0 in his last seven starts (tied for the longest team winning streak of his career).

Lester has gone 2-2 with a 3.76 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers. He threw a complete game on June 1 at Wrigley Field, limiting Los Angeles to a run on four hits in the Cubs 2-1 triumph. Lester is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in two starts at Dodger Stadium.

Much has been made of this series possibly being a preview of clash in the playoffs. Maddon downplayed the significance of this series because it doesn't compare to the playoffs.

"It's such a different animal and people get hot or people get cold and actually the weather gets cold and everything does change," Maddon said. "Honestly I know what we're talking about, and I'm not going to diminish what we're talking about, but things change. Trends can be so trendy, to quote Yogi (Berra). I don't get too far ahead because things can change very quickly.