04/25 17:35 CDT Lester solid in return, but Dodgers get past Cubs 2-1
Lester solid in return, but Dodgers get past Cubs 2-1
By JOHN JACKSON
CHICAGO (AP) --- The Los Angeles Dodgers spoiled Jon Lester's return to the
Cubs' rotation by scoring on an error and a sacrifice fly, beating Chicago 2-1
on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Lester (1-1), who spent 16 days on the injured list with a left hamstring
strain, allowed one run on four hits in five innings.
Cody Bellinger drove in the Dodgers' second run with a sacrifice fly off Kyle
Ryan in the eighth after Los Angeles loaded the bases with two walks and a hit
batter. It was Bellinger's 31st RBI of the season, tying Milwaukee's Christian
Yelich for the most in the majors. Bellinger went 1 for 2, raising his major
league-leading batting average to .426.
Pedro Baez (2-1) struck out three in 1 1/3 innings for the win. Kenley Jansen
allowed Albert Almora Jr.'s homer in the ninth but got the final three outs for
his eighth save.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the fifth. Alex Verdugo led off with a triple to
center. With the infield playing in, Chris Taylor hit a routine grounder to
shortstop that Javier Bez booted for an error. Verdugo easily scored once the
ball scooted away.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kyle Schwarber led off with a double. Ross
Stripling then struck out pinch-hitter Mark Zagunis and retired Ben Zobrist on
a grounder to first base. He was lifted for Baez, who walked Kris Bryant but
got Anthony Rizzo to fly out.
Stripling allowed five hits and struck out six, throwing 76 pitches in his 4
2/3 scoreless innings.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Addison Russell will play second base as well as
shortstop during his seven-day minor league rehab assignment. Bez has been
playing short during Russell's 40-game suspension for violating Major League
Baseball's domestic violence policy, and the team has to decide what to do when
he is activated.
"We've begun the conversation," Maddon said. "We haven't concluded anything
Russell is eligible to return on May 3, but president Theo Epstein said there's
no guarantee he'll be activated then.
"I told him the other day that seven days does not necessarily get somebody
ready for the season," Epstein said. "If you don't feel he's ready to come up
here and help us win, we're gonna do the right thing for the organization."
Cubs: Closer Brandon Morrow (offseason elbow surgery) was shut down over the
weekend after not recovering well from a bullpen session. Although he still is
undergoing tests, Epstein is optimistic the right-hander will begin throwing
again soon. "Probably not in the matter of a week or two," Epstein said, "but
after that point he'll get throwing again and get back on the mound."
Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-1, 3.10 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game
home series against Pittsburgh Friday night. RHP Chris Archer (1-1, 2.74) goes
for the Pirates.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-3, 3.54) starts the opener of a three-game series
at Arizona Friday night. LHP Robbie Ray (0-1, 3.95) goes for the Diamondbacks.
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