Lester wins 5th straight start, Cubs beat Dodgers 4-0
CHICAGO — Jon Lester won his fifth straight start, Javier Baez backed him with three hits and two runs, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 on Wednesday.
Lester (9-2) gave up five hits over seven innings. Baez had two doubles, a triple and a steal. He also made some solid plays at shortstop and second base.
Kyle Schwarber hit his 14th homer. Kris Bryant added two hits and an RBI in his third straight game batting leadoff. And the Cubs handed Ross Stripling his first loss since April 30, taking two of three in a rematch of the past two NL Championship Series.
Lester walked three and struck out one batter. Anthony Bass worked the final two innings to finish the six-hitter.
Baez made a strong throw from deep in the hole at shortstop in the second inning to rob Logan Forsythe of a hit and had fans chanting his name in the eighth after a neat double play as the second baseman. He caught Justin Turner’s line drive and lunged to the bag to double off a diving Enrique Hernandez.
Right fielder Jason Heyward threw out Chris Taylor trying to score on Turner’s fly in the third. And the Cubs caught several balls on the warning track while winning for the 17th time in 25 games.
Stripling (6-2) had won six straight starts. The right-hander went six innings, allowing three runs and eight hits while striking out seven without a walk.
Dodgers: SS Taylor exited with a tight left hamstring in the sixth inning. … INF Chase Utley (sprained left thumb) was ready to ready from the disabled list. But the Dodgers decided to wait until Friday, when they open a three-game series at the New York Mets, to activate him. “Kind of where we’re at with the pitching,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s healthy and ready to go with us, but having some option-able players on the roster makes a lot of sense for us. Playing a doubleheader, three games in 24 hours, we’ve got to kind of see how things play out and give ourselves some options.”
Cubs: The Cubs placed closer Brandon Morrow (lower back tightness) on the 10-day disabled list. … RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) threw a simulated game. Manager Joe Maddon said he looked “outstanding,” and the Cubs will see how he feels Thursday before announcing the next step as he works his way back. … Maddon also said the Cubs are “very close” to mapping out a plan for Carl Edwards Jr. (right shoulder inflammation) to return from the DL.
Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22 ERA) tries to win his second straight start as the Dodgers open a three-game series against the Mets on Friday. RHP Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82) pitches for New York.
Cubs: The Cubs open a four-game series at Cincinnati on Thursday, with RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-6, 3.55) going against RHP Matt Harvey (1-5, 5.92)