Matt Kemp homers, drives in four; Cubs fall to LA in finale


After scoring six runs in their final two innings at the plate in Saturday’s come-from-behind win against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs’ rally attempt in Sunday’s finale fell short, as Chicago fell by an 8-5 final in front of the home faithful at Wrigley Field.

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Los Angeles (89-67) dropped its magic number to four with the win on Sunday, in which it was led by outfielder Matt Kemp, who homered, driving in four as part of a four-hit afternoon. Five other Dodgers players tallied multiple hits in the contest, as well.

Jacob Turner (5-11, 6.25 ERA) struggled for the Cubs, allowed four earned on eight hits in five innings of work, striking out three. The Chicago bullpen combined to allow three runs – just of which were earned – in four innings of work. Cubs pitchers issued just one walk in the contest.

The Dodgers opened the scoring in the top of the first, when RBI doubles by Adrian Gonzalez, who had a two-homer, five RBI contest Saturday, and Hanley Ramirez made it 2-0. Saturday’s hero, Chris Coghlan, helped Chicago (69-87) answer back in the bottom of the second with an RBI single.

Kemp clubbed his home run, an opposite field blast into the bleachers, in the third, making it 4-1 Dodgers on his 23rd long-ball of the season. He later added an RBI in the top of the fifth and seventh with RBI singles in both at-bats.

Just over halfway home, the Cubs pulled within one. After Luis Valbuena singled to make it a 5-3 ballgame, a wild pitch by Carlos Frias allowed Anthony Rizzo to race home from third to pull Chicago within striking distance. However, over the course of the final four innings, the Cubs were outscored 4-1, allowing Los Angeles to coast to a win that opened its lead in the National League West to four games heading into a series against the second-place San Francisco Giants at home.

Jamey Wright, who made a spot start for the Dodgers, allowed one run on three hits in two innings of work. Right-hander Chris Perez earned the win of Los Angeles, tossing 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief ball. The Dodgers pitching staff limited Chicago to a measly 3-for-13 clip with runners in scoring position. Los Angeles hitters, on the other hand, came through repeatedly, going 8-for-17.