LA Dodgers 1, Chi. Cubs 0
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
CHICAGO – (Wire Service Report) – The Chicago Cubs had no answers for Clayton Kershaw and his dominating performance on Sunday. The Los Angeles left-handed ace produced a sparkling seven-inning outing as the Dodgers claimed a 1-0 victory at Wrigley Field to even the National League Championship Series at one game apiece.
Kershaw (2-0) retired the first 14 batters he faced, gave up just two hits and struck out six. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen picked it up from there with no hits and four strikeouts in a two-inning relief outing.
“What (Kershaw has) given us in October is really something special,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He left it all out there, that’s what he does. And to go to Kenley (Jansen) for six outs, you couldn’t have scripted it any better.”
Joc Pederson congratulates Adrian Gonzalez after HR
An Adrian Gonzalez second-inning home run provided the Dodgers’ lone run. Jansen took over in the eighth and threw two perfect innings, including four strikeouts. He struck out pinch hitter Miguel Montero, who supplied Saturday’s heroics with an eighth-inning grand slam home run, and struck out two more in a perfect ninth against the top of the Cubs order for his third postseason save.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (0-1) gave up just one run on three hits and took the loss in a 5 1/3-inning outing. The Dodgers chased Hendricks and threatened in the sixth with two runners on base. But they came up empty as reliever Carl Edwards Jr. got Joc Pederson to ground into an inning-ending double play. Hendricks struck out five, walked four and threw 91 pitches.
Right-hander Mike Montgomery — the third Cubs pitcher of the night — had runners at first and second in the seventh, but Corey Seager lined to left to end the inning and avert any damage. Gonzalez opened a 1-0 Dodgers lead with his second-inning home run to left on a 1-0 Hendricks pitch. It was his second homer of the postseason. On Saturday, he contributed a two-run eighth-inning single that tied the game at 3-3.
“You don’t really carry (over) momentum, every day’s different,” Gonzalez said. “I was just trying to get the ball in the air and thank God I was able to get it in that nice jet stream.”
While Hendricks allowed just one early run, the Dodgers still made him work. Through three innings, he had already thrown 56 pitches but got back at Gonzalez with an inning-ending strikeout. By the close of the fifth, it was 83.
Anthony Rizzo nearly made it 1-1 in the fourth with a drive out of the park down the right-field line that twisted foul. Kershaw otherwise efficiently retired 14 straight Cubs until Javier Baez and Willson Contreras lined two-out back-to-back singles in the fifth. Cubs manager Joe Maddon thought his team might have opportunities with Kershaw relying more on a fastball and less on his curve.
“The thing that I was curious about was velocity and rotation before the game and he had both,” Maddon said. “Command of his fastball was outstanding. He really didn’t have his curve today which should have worked in our favor.”
“My curve ball wasn’t great tonight,” said Kershaw, who also had a victory in the National League Division series and a save in Game 5. “I think I threw some that were decent that they took. … But fastball command was good enough to get away with it and (I) threw enough sliders when I needed to keep people off balance.”
The scene shifts on Tuesday to Game 3 in Los Angeles. The Cubs, perceived prior to the series as the favorite, now need wins on the road after losing home-field advantage in the series.
“It wasn’t a must-win game but it was a game we really wanted to have,” Roberts said.
NOTES: Dodgers manager Dave Roberts plans to send LHP Rich Hill (0-1, 6.43 ERA in the postseason) to the mound in Game 3 on Tuesday at Los Angeles, but his Game 4 starter is still up in the air. Even Hill isn’t a lock with concerns over recurring blister problems that have afflicted him this season. … Chicago RHP Jake Arrieta (0-0, 3.00 ERA postseason) will start Game 3. Arrieta hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts against the Dodgers, including a no-hitter on Aug. 30, 2015 at Dodger Stadium. Chicago RHP Jon Lackey is scheduled to pitch Wednesday. … Los Angeles was 0-for-11 in bases loaded situations in postseason play until 1B Adrian Gonzalez tied the Saturday game with a two-run single in the eighth inning. … Cubs 3B Kris Bryant and 2B Javier Baez had hits in all five postseason games entering Sunday. … Baez ran the streak to six with a single and tied the club record for most consecutive hits to open the postseason.