Lester brilliant as Cubs shut out Dodgers, 4-0
The Cubs took two of three against the defending NL champions, with a four-game rematch set to start Monday at Los Angeles.Reuters | Updated: 21-06-2018 02:50 IST | Created: 21-06-2018 02:50 IST
Jon Lester went seven scoreless innings Wednesday and Kyle Schwarber hit a home run for the second consecutive game as the Chicago Cubs closed out a National League Championship Series rematch with a 4-0 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cubs took two of three against the defending NL champions, with a four-game rematch set to start Monday at Los Angeles.
Dodgers starter Ross Stripling (6-2) saw his six-start win streak come to an end after giving up three runs on eight hits over six innings. The right-hander entered Wednesday with a 1.43 ERA during his win streak and a 2.12 ERA over his previous nine starts.
The Cubs are now 17-8 since May 25, while the Dodgers fell to 16-8 over that same stretch. The Dodgers were shut out for the first time since May 6.
Lester (9-2), who has won five consecutive starts and seven of his last eight, threw a season-high 119 pitches while holding the Dodgers to five hits with three walks and a strikeout. Eight of his nine victories have come over his last 12 starts while recording a 1.67 ERA over those outings.
Lester benefited from solid defense, including a diving catch by center fielder Albert Almora Jr. in the seventh inning to take a hit away from Yasiel Puig, and a throw from right fielder Jason Heyward in the third inning to cut down Chris Taylor trying to score on a fly ball.
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI fielder's choice from Anthony Rizzo. It was the first run Stripling had allowed in the first inning this season.
Schwarber's home run to center field in the fourth inning gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. It was his 14th home run of the season. Kris Bryant had an RBI single in the fifth inning and Tommy La Stella added an RBI single in the seventh inning for a 4-0 lead.
The Dodgers were held to 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and were 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position during the series.
Los Angeles was unbeaten over its previous nine series (8-0-1), losing its first one since being upended twice in three games by the Miami Marlins May 15-17.
Taylor left the game in the sixth inning with left hamstring tightness.