It’s rare when your team hits four home runs in one game. It’s even more rare when those four homers come off the bat of just two players.
Thursday night, that’s exactly what happened.
Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo went back-to-back in the bottom of the first inning, and each added a home run as the game progressed, but it was not enough, as Chicago fell to the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers in the series opener, by a 6-4 final.
Rizzo clubbed his second homer of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with the bases empty against Paco Rodriguez, pulling the Cubs within one run, 5-4. However Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig answered right back, in what has become a trend for this first-place Dodgers team, as he took a 2-2 slider from Hector Rondon, and deposited it into the center field bleachers for his eleventh home run of the season.
Cubs starter Chris Rusin (1-1) lasted five innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits. He also walked three and struck out four. This was the first start of the year where the young left-hander struggled with command, as he seeks to hold onto the departed Matt Garza‘s rotation spot.
Los Angeles (58-49) responded to the pair of Cubs’ homers with an RBI double by Hanley Ramirez in the top of the third inning, cutting the Chicago lead to 2-1. Ramirez has been red hot of late, hitting .375 with five homers and 17 RBIs in the month of July. However, the RBI double was his only hit of the night against Cubs pitching.
Puig, Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slye all added two hits to the winning effort for LA, who bounced back, backing starter Ricky Nolasco (7-9), who lasted five frames, allowing three earned runs on four hits, while striking out five. Kenley Jansen shut the door in the ninth, picking up his 15th save of the season.
The Cubs, meanwhile, dropped to 49-59 on the season, following a rough series against Milwaukee, and tonight’s loss to the Dodgers. The team managed just five hits on the night, and as mentioned, four of them left the ballpark. Of late, it’s been a struggle for the Cubs to get a hit with runners in scoring position. However, the team had just one chance in Thursday night’s game, and they came up short.
Hyun Jin-Ryu (9-3, 3.14) toes the rubber for Los Angeles tomorrow afternoon, eyeing his tenth win of the season, and will be opposed by National League All-Star Travis Wood (7-7, 2.79). First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. CDT.