Two of the most evenly matched teams over the last couple years are the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs. That is again the case this season, with the two teams each winning three of their first six regular-season meetings.
Thursday represented the rubber match in the last time they will meet this season, and it was the Cubs that were able to come away with the season series, defeating the Dodgers, 11-5.
Clayton Kershaw got the start on the mound of the Dodgers, and in just his second start back from a back injury, he looked like his old, usual self.
Kershaw threw 68 pitches across five innings, giving up just four hits and a run while striking out six without allowing a walk. The only run the Cubs scored against him came on a two-out single off the bat of Addison Russell in the fourth inning to score Javier Baez.
The Dodgers got Kershaw some early run support, scoring singular runs in the second, third and fourth innings. Two of those runs were courtesy of Cubs killer Kiké Hernandez.
He drove in Austin Barnes with a single to right in the second inning and then drove in Barnes again in the fourth with a double to right-center.
The other Dodgers early run came in the bottom of the third inning on a solo home run to left by Max Muncy, his 17th of the season and 10th in the month of June.
Walker Buehler, in his first game off the disabled list, came in to pitch in relief of Kershaw in the sixth and was trusted with holding a 3-1 lead. He was not able to do that though, giving up a home run to the first batter he faced, Albert Almora Jr.
He then gave up a double, single and sacrifice fly, so the game was tied at three through six innings at Dodger Stadium.
Buehler’s struggles continued in the seventh inning though, giving up three hits and a walk before giving up to Erik Goeddel.
Goeddel was not able to put out the first, giving up three more hits, including a bases-clearing double to Anthony Rizzo and a two-run home run to Russell, resulting in a seven-run inning and 10-3 lead for the Cubs. One of those hits was an infield pop-up that Muncy lost in the sun, which certainly not help matters.
Caleb Ferguson tossed the last two innings for the Dodgers giving up just a run on a Baez single. The Dodgers only offense late in the game came on a two-run shot by Justin Turner in the ninth inning. The home run was the club’s 53rd of the month, which ties a franchise record.
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