Dodgers Even Series with Cubs

By mattgullette

The 20-minute blackout wasn’t enough to shake Chad Billingsley’s confidence as the right-hander earned his sixth win of the season over the Chicago Cubs, 8-5.

He wasn’t dominant last night, but Billingsley (6-2) still managed to walk away with a his fourth-consecutive W. After allowing only one run in his last two starts, Billingsley (6-2) gave up three runs and a season-high 10 hits, striking out six and walking one for a total of 100 pitches.

Not too bad of a performance, though, considering the distractions. The game was delayed for nearly 20 minutes in top of the fourth inning after a nearby fire caused the lights to go out at Wrigley Field.

An Ethier-less offense gave Billingsley all the support he needed, even despite a near bullpen collapse. James Loney finished a home run short of the cycle, and the Dodgers rebounded from last night’s goose-egg performance plating three runs in the top of the first and two more in the second.

Furcal, who’s struggled with his glove of late, led-off the game with a single, followed by a Russell Martin walk, and then Furcal scored on Manny Ramirez’s hard grounder to third. Casey Blake continued with an RBI double to left and then scored on Loney’s single.

With a 7-3 lead in the sixth, the Cubs threatened to come back thanks to a sub-par bullpen performance and Manny’s inability to field a ball.

After Xavier Nady hit a solo home-run off Billingsley in the sixth, Derek Lee singled off reliever Ronald Belisario in the seventh and Alfonso Soriano hit what seemed to be a routine fly ball to left, but Ramirez nonchalantly jogged in and was unable to come up with the ball, allowing the runners to advance in scoring position. Then one out later, pinch-hitter Jeff Baker hit a deep fly ball to left-field, and again, Ramirez couldn’t come up with it resulting in a two-run triple.

That’s just Manny being Manny.

Manager Joe Torre said Manny’s been bothered by a foot injury that kept him out of the line-up last week.

“He’s had these leg issues. He’s not moving as he had before. He said it was his fault on that ball that hit the wall. He thought it was going out of the ballpark and he stopped running after it,” Torre said.

The Dodgers were bailed out by closer Jonathon Broxton who came on for the five-out save, his 11th of the season. Third baseman Casey Blake (2-for-5, 2 RBI) added insurance with his seventh home-run of the season as the Dodgers won their 15th of the last 21 games.

The rubber-match of the series will be today at 2:20 ET, as rookie Jon Ely (3-1, 3.41) takes on Ted Lilly (1-4, 4.40).

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