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Dodgers stumble before new owners in 5-4 loss to Cubs

Playing in front of two of their new owners for the first time, the Dodgers fall behind early and suffer their third loss and four games.

May 04, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, right, scores a run as Chicago catcher Geovany Soto waits for the throw during the eighth inning of the Dodgers' 5-4 loss Friday.
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, right, scores a run as Chicago catcher… (Jonathan Daniel / Getty…)

And now for a slight pause in the celebration over the Dodgers’ fast start. Pause, as in to just mention, after Friday afternoon’s 5-4 loss to the lowly Cubs in Wrigley Field, the Dodgers have now dropped three of their last four.

A mere hiccup during the course of a 162-game season, but considering the Dodgers were an impressive 16-6 leading into this little hitch, it at least raises a weary eyebrow.

Playing their first game in front of two of their new owners Mark Walter – who lives in Chicago -- and Stan Kasten, the Dodgers managed just six hits.

The Dodgers fell behind early on a cool and gray Chicago day, and never could recover. Not even the daily impetus from their one-two of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier was enough.

Starting pitcher Chad Billingsley was neither as brilliant as he had been in four of his previous five starts, nor as awful as he had been in one. He was OK, which on this day, wasn’t going to get it done.

Despite being 17-9 overall, the Dodgers have mostly built their record beating up on second-tier teams. This is their ninth series of the year, but only two have been against teams with winning records.

The Cubs came in at 9-16, the worst record in the National League, but struck quickly against Billingsley, scoring twice in the first on three hits.

Jerry Hairston Jr.  got one back in the third when he hit his first home run as a Dodger, this one a solo shot off Cubs left-hander Paul Maholm.

But Billingsley just wasn’t sharp on this breezy day, giving up single runs in the fourth (Darwin Barney double and David DeJesus triple) and again in the sixth on a solo home run to pinch-hitter Joe Mather.

Billingsley left after six innings, having surrendered four runs on eight hits and three walks. Maholm also went six, allowing one run on three hits and no walks.

The Dodgers scored once in the seventh when Ethier doubled and scored on a Hairston triple. A.J. Ellis walked with two outs, but new outfielder Bobby Abreu was called out on strikes in his debut as a Dodger.

The Cubs scored what would prove the winning run in the bottom of the inning against the Dodgers’ suddenly struggling bullpen. Scott Elbert gave up a pair of hits before Todd Coffey came on to surrender a run-scoring double to Alfonso Soriano.

The Dodgers made it their 13th one-run game (9-4) by scoring twice in the eighth. Kemp tripled in one run, and scored on an Ethier sacrifice fly.

But that’s where the rally ended. They had a runner on with two outs in the ninth, but Abreu ended the game by lining out to deep right.


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