Hanley Ramirez drives in two runs in the third inning of the Dodgers'… (Charles Cherney / Associated…)
Meanwhile, back on the road, all was well once again for the Dodgers.
The road used to be a land of pitfalls and scary creatures, but now it might as well come with cookies and warm milk. The Dodgers flew to Chicago on Thursday, arriving at their hotel at 7:30 in the morning.
No problem. The Dodgers lifted their eyelids long enough to down the Cubs, 6-4, at Wrigley Field, which left them with 11 consecutive victories away from home.
BOX SCORE: Dodgers 6, Chicago Cubs 4
They already had set the Los Angeles Dodgers record for consecutive road wins, but Thursday’s victory managed their most since the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers won 11 in a row on the road.
They had to come from behind to do it Thursday, pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston Jr.’s single in the sixth driving in the tying and go-ahead runs, and an Adrian Gonzalez hit drove in what proved the winning run.
The victory means the Dodgers have gone 28-7 in their last 35 games, and Thursday’s win returned their lead in the National League West to 3 1/2 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers had to survive four solo home runs by the Cubs -- two each for Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo -- and another middling start by Ricky Nolasco to pull out the win.
The Cubs picked up two solo homers in the second inning, but the Dodgers tied it in the third when Hanley Ramirez -- refusing to cool off -- doubled in two off rookie left-hander Chris Rusin.
Lake, another rookie who has replaced the traded Alfonso Soriano in left, hit his second off Nolasco in the bottom of the inning to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
But after Rusin gave up a single to Scott Van Slyke and walked Mark Ellis in the sixth, the Cubs went to right-handed reliever Michael Bowden. Tim Federowicz bunted to sacrifice the runners up, and then Hairston hit for Nolasco and drove his two-run single up the middle.
After Yasiel Puig doubled Hairston to third, Gonzalez dropped a single to center to score Hairston. Puig also tried to score on the hit, but he was thrown out at the plate by David De Jesus.
For Nolasco (7-9), it marked his fourth consecutive game that he was unable to pitch into the sixth inning.
The Dodgers were still up 5-3 in the eighth, when Rizzo hit his second solo shot -- this one off Paco Rodriguez -- but Puig got it back with a solo shot of his own in the ninth. Puig now has 11 home runs in his 51 games.
Kenley Jansen struck out the side on 12 pitches in the ninth to earn his 15th save, and the Dodgers -- who were 16-24 only a month ago on the road -- improved their record since the All-Star break to 11-2.