Dodgers shut down by Cubs bullpen in 1-hit defeat
CHICAGO (AP) Coming off a long night with little sleep, the Los Angeles Dodgers got a needed break when starter Jason Hammel left with cramps after two innings.
Or so it seemed.
Travis Wood and Chicago's bullpen followed Hammel with seven perfect innings, and the Cubs one-hit the Dodgers 2-0 on Monday.
Hammel exited after his right hamstring cramped while warming up for the third inning. Wood (3-0) pitched four innings in his longest stint of the season, helping the Cubs win their sixth straight and improve to 35-14, best in the majors.
''That was unfortunate what happened over there to Hammel with the hamstring,'' manager Dave Roberts said. ''And when you get into their `pen that early, we felt pretty good about it.
''For us to muster one hit and one walk. ... It was just one of those games.''
Justin Turner singled with two outs in the first, then Adrian Gonzalez walked, but those were the Dodgers' lone baserunners.
The Dodgers arrived at their Chicago hotel at 3:30 a.m. following a 4-2 win over the Mets in New York on Sunday night. Roberts said before the game that his team had no problem with the quick turnaround.
Wood struck out four and threw 35 of his 43 pitches for strikes.
''I think it's truly Travis Wood's day,'' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ''He set the whole game up, period.''
''You're thinking we can grind some at-bats and wear out the bullpen in Game 1 of a four-game series,'' Turner said. ''(Wood) did a good job pounding the zone and getting some quick outs through four innings, so you've got to tip your cap to him.''
Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon followed with one inning each for the Cubs, with Rondon getting his ninth save. He has converted 20 straight save opportunities dating back to Aug. 14.
The Dodgers were limited to one hit or fewer for the first time since Chicago's Jake Arrieta no-hit them last August. Los Angeles faces the Cubs ace right-hander on Tuesday.
''We'll just go out there and try to put some at-bats and hits together,'' Roberts said.
Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood (1-4) gave up two runs on seven hits in five innings, striking out seven and walking three.
Ben Zobrist extended his hitting streak to a career-high-tying 16 games. He singled leading off the fifth and reached third when right fielder Yasiel Puig misplayed the ball. He scored on Jason Heyward's infield single.
Anthony Rizzo drove home Heyward with a double to right.
Zobrist has reached base in his last 35 starts, the longest streak by a Cub since Starlin Castro's 40 in 2011.
Dodgers: OF Trayce Thompson, who left Saturday's game in New York with lower back soreness, was 100 percent and available off the bench, according to Roberts. He's expected to start in left field on Tuesday. ... OF Carl Crawford, pulled from Saturday's game with a hamstring injury, started in left Monday. ''I just wanted to give him (Thompson) another day and give C.C. an opportunity,'' Roberts said. ''C.C. is a quick healer.'' ... RHP Brandon McCarthy (Tommy John surgery) was scheduled to throw to hitters at Dodger Stadium on Monday.
Cubs: Hammel said he's ''very optimistic'' he will be ready for his next turn in the rotation. ... Maddon did not start center fielder Dexter Fowler, who has a sore heel. Maddon said he hoped Fowler would return to the lineup Tuesday. Maddon moved Heyward from right to center, shifted Zobrist from second to right, and inserted Javier Baez at second.
Dodgers: LHP Scott Kazmir (4-3, 4.84) pitched for then-Tampa Bay manager Maddon's 2008 World Series team. He has a 1-0 career record and 2.53 ERA in two games against the Cubs. Kazmir is 3-1 in May with a 4.13 ERA.
Cubs: RHP Arrieta (9-0, 1.72 ERA) will try to become the major league's first 10-game winner. He is the first Cubs starter to win his first nine decisions in a season since Kenny Holtzman in 1967. The only Cubs starter with a longer season-opening streak was Jim McCormick, who started 16-0 in 1886. Arrieta is 20-0 with a 0.98 ERA in 22 starts since Aug. 1, 2015.