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Sleepy Dodgers earn 11th straight win on the road, 6-4 over Cubs

Jerry Hairston Jr. drives in the tying and go-ahead runs in the sixth inning to help the sleep-deprived Dodgers win for the 28th time in their last 35 games.

August 01, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Yasiel Puig hits a home run (11) in the ninth inning of the Dodgers' 6-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday.
Yasiel Puig hits a home run (11) in the ninth inning of the Dodgers'… (David Banks / Getty Images )

CHICAGO — Jerry Hairston Jr. had bags under his eyes. So did Hanley Ramirez.

But Hairston, Ramirez and the other Dodgers stayed awake long enough Thursday to win for the 28th time in their last 35 games, defeating the Chicago Cubs, 6-4, at Wrigley Field.

"It felt like a battle all day," said Manager Don Mattingly. "It didn't come easy. That's what I liked about the win."

BOX SCORE: Dodgers 6, Chicago Cubs 4

The Dodgers lost to the New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night, after which they boarded a four-hour flight to Chicago. They didn't get to their downtown hotel until 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

"I woke up at 9," Hairston said.

Ramirez said he didn't sleep at all.

But Ramirez doubled in the Dodgers' first two runs of the game. Hairston pinch-hit in the sixth inning and drove in the tying and go-ahead runs. Adrian Gonzalez drove in an insurance run in the sixth inning and Yasiel Puig hit a ninth-inning solo home run, sealing the Dodgers' 11th consecutive victory on the road. The Dodgers last loss on the road was July 6 in San Francisco.

This marked the second time in the last week the Dodgers had to play sleep-deprived. Seven days earlier, they returned home after taking a red-eye flight from Toronto. They still won three of four games against the Cincinnati Reds.

In addition to their schedule-inflicted insomnia, the Dodgers overcame four home runs Thursday — two each by Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo. Three of the home runs were hit off the one player who was properly rested: starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco.

Nolasco, who traveled to Chicago before his teammates, gave up solo home runs to Lake and Rizzo in the first inning to put the Dodgers behind, 2-0.

The Dodgers tied the game in the third inning, 2-2, when Puig and Gonzalez scored on a double by Ramirez. The runs batted in were the 36th and 37th in the 52 games Ramirez has played in his injury-shortened season.

But the stalemate didn't last long, as Nolasco served up another solo home run to Lake in the bottom of the inning that moved the Cubs back in front, 3-2.

Nolasco, who pitched five innings, took solace in that no one was on base when he served up those blasts over the ivy-covered walls.

"I made three terrible pitches," Nolasco said. "Good thing there was nobody on. When you walk guys, that's when you get killed."

Outside of the home runs, Nolasco gave up only one hit. He walked one.

The game turned in the sixth inning, when Scott Van Slyke singled and Mark Ellis drew a walk with no outs. Cubs starter Chris Rusin was replaced by right-hander Michael Bowden. Van Slyke and Ellis were bunted over by Tim Federowicz, after which Hairston hit for Nolasco.

Van Slyke was playing in place of Andre Ethier and Federowicz in place of A.J. Ellis as part of Mattingly's plan to offset the collective effects of fatigue.

Hairston said his focus was to drive in Van Slyke, who was on third. But he did more than that, lining a ball up the middle to give the Dodgers a 4-3 edge. Hairston later scored when Gonzalez singled to center.

A solo home run by Rizzo off Paco Rodriguez in the eighth inning cut the Dodgers' lead to 5-4, but Puig extended the margin back to two with a line drive that sailed halfway up the left-field bleachers.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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