Lester and Kershaw rocked in Dodgers’ 9-4 sweep of Cubs
LOS ANGELES — Cody Bellinger and Kike Hernandez led an offensive outburst with three-run homers that upstaged the anticipated duel between aces Jon Lester and Clayton Kershaw, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Chicago 9-4 on Sunday to sweep the Cubs in three games at home for the first time since August 2012.
Lester and Kershaw were rocked for 10 runs and 18 hits in a combined 7 2/3 innings of their first career matchup. The left-handers that own three World Series titles (Lester), three Cy Young Awards (Kershaw) and 10 All-Star nods failed to retire the side in order in any inning.
Lester (3-3) gave up six runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings for Chicago. He struck out six and walked two.
Kershaw allowed four runs and a career-high-tying 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. The Cubs stranded 10 runners against him.
Josh Fields (2-0) got the victory, striking out two in 1 2/3 innings.
The game’s 13 runs came on seven homers.
Bellinger put the Dodgers ahead 3-1 with a drive into the right-field pavilion in the second. It was Lester’s first homer allowed with runners on this season.
Hernandez connected in the third, extending the lead to 6-1.
Chicago pulled within two with three runs in the fourth. Javier Baez hit a solo shot and Anthony Rizzo belted a two-run homer.
The Cubs jumped on Kershaw from the start. Baez and Kris Bryant singled on first pitches from him to open the game. Addison Russell singled off the first pitch leading off the fifth.
Chicago led 1-0 when Willson Contreras homered leading off the second, snapping 30 consecutive road innings without a run scored. It came on the 12th pitch of the at-bat after Contreras fouled off five straight pitches from Kershaw.
Austin Barnes homered off Chicago’s Mike Montgomery in the fifth. Pinch hitter Yasiel Puig added a two-run shot in the seventh off Pedro Strop.
After Lester and Kershaw were chased, the Dodgers’ NL-leading bullpen came in and pitched 4 2/3 innings of hitless relief. The pen hasn’t given up a run in four straight games.
The Dodgers have won nine of 11 overall and 11 of 13 at home.
The Cubs were outscored 18-4 in the series, losing the first two games by scores of 4-0 and 5-0.