Cubs fall again, look to avoid sweep on Sunday


Aug 3, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher

Jeff Samardzija

(29) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Different day, same story.

The Los Angeles Dodgers (60-49) continue to run rampant over any and every team they face off against, while the Cubs continue their recent slide at home. On Saturday afternoon, Chicago (49-61) fell to the Dodgers for the third straight day, this time, by a 3-0 final.

Right-hander Jeff Samardzija (6-10) was the tough-luck loser once again, striking out nine over six innings of three-run ball. Once again, he received no run support, which has contributed to his disappointing, and misleading, win-loss record.

“You’ve got to give a little credit to their lineup, too,” Samardzija said in the postgame news conference. “You can’t go in there just throwing the ball right down the middle; they’re going to make you pay for it. There were times where I was trying to be a little too fine, but that was intentional.”

Carl Crawford collected three hits for the Dodgers, while Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier each added a pair of their own. Samardzija also issued five walks, which ties a season-high for the Cubs’ ace.

Southpaw Chris Capuano (4-6) continued his dominance of the North Siders, throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings on Saturday, limiting Chicago to just six scattered hits while striking out five and walking just one. The only Cubs player to manage more than one base hit against the lefty was Cole Gillespie, who went 2-for-4 with a strikeout.

Chicago entered play with a batting average of just over .220 on the season with runners in scoring position, and continued such hitting in Saturday’s contest, going 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Los Angeles faired little better, with a 2-for-12 mark on the day. However, when it came down to it, the Dodgers racked them up when needed.

The Dodgers tallied three singles in the third inning to account for their first run. Puig showcased his speed with a bunt single down the third base line, then moved to third and scored on a pair of back-to-back singles from Ethier and Jerry Hairston. A two-run single by Crawford in the sixth accounted for the team’s other two runs.

The Cubs and Dodgers wrap up their series at Wrigley Field on Sunday, when Chicago will look to avoid the four-game sweep behind a start from Carlos Villanueva (2-7, 4.33). The Dodgers will counter with Stephen Fife (3-3, 2.76). First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m CDT.