September 18, 2014

After bouncing back from his roughest outing of 2016, Jon Lester hopes to fare better against the Los Angeles Dodgers this season than he did last year.

The left-hander looks to help the Chicago Cubs rebound from their first loss in more than a week Wednesday night against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field.

Lester (5-3, 2.48 ERA) lasted just 2 2/3 innings May 21 at San Francisco, where he allowed five runs, six hits and three walks in a 4-3 defeat. Six days later, he yielded an earned run and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings of Friday's 6-2 home victory over Philadelphia.

"I wasn't worried about my start (against San Francisco) at all," Lester told MLB's official website.

Lester lowered his ERA to 2.29 at Wrigley Field, where he's fanned 45 and walked 11 in six starts.

He faced the Dodgers (28-25) at home and on the road last season but lost both times, giving up nine runs and 12 hits in 10-plus innings.

After Los Angeles was held to one hit in Monday's 2-0 defeat at Wrigley, Scott Kazmir and two relievers held the Cubs (35-15) to one while breaking out for a 5-0 victory Tuesday.

''It's really just a big win for us,'' Kazmir said.

The loss snapped Chicago's six-game winning streak and a 23-game run in those started by ace Jake Arrieta, who threw seven scoreless innings.

''You play this game long enough and you're going to lose a game here and there,'' Arrieta said. ''It was a good streak and we'll get started on something else.''

Corey Seager hit a three-run homer for one of his three hits as the Dodgers snapped a 26-inning scoreless stretch against Chicago. Seager has hit .391 with two home runs while Los Angeles has gone 3-2 on a seven-game trip.

Mike Bolsinger (1-1, 4.50) is scheduled to make his third start of the season and first since last Tuesday. The left-hander gave up a two-run homer but only two other hits and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings of an 8-2 win over Cincinnati.

"Definitely a confidence booster," said Bolsinger, who came off the disabled list May 18 from an oblique injury. "I felt like I got over the hump, and I'm ready to go."

Bolsinger didn't face many hurdles while going 1-0 with a 1.24 ERA in two career starts against the Cubs - both at Wrigley.

Anthony Rizzo is 0 for 6 against Bolsinger, but Jason Heyward and Addison Russell are a combined 4 for 6 with a double apiece.

Ben Zobrist, who has never faced Bolsinger, had his 16-game hitting streak end while striking out in all three at-bats Tuesday.

Lester's personal catcher, David Ross, is 6 for 16 with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs in the last six games he's made a plate appearance.

It's uncertain if Los Angeles' Yasiel Puig will be available after he was a late scratch Tuesday because of a sore left hamstring. He is 2 for 14 with five strikeouts in his last five games.

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