Cubs throw combined no-hitter in shutout win over Dodgers


by - Senior Writer -
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — For the first time in franchise history, the Chicago Cubs (42-33) recorded a combined no-hitter on Thursday, with Zach Davies, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel combining for a no-no at Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles Dodgers (44-31) drew eight walks but failed to record a single hit, falling 4-0 in the opener of a four-game series. The no-no served as the first combined no-hitter of the 2021 MLB season and also marked the first no-hitter at Dodger Stadium since Jake Arrieta no-hit the Dodgers as a Cub in 2015.

The Cubs improved to 4-0 versus the Dodgers on the year, having already pulled off a three-game sweep of the defending World Series champions at Wrigley Field in May. Javy Baez provided the North Siders with an early lead by swatting a 401-foot solo shot out to center with two outs in the first. Walker Buehler gave up the dinger after collecting two quick outs. Davies walked a pair in the first but stranded them. Mookie Betts drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third, but Willson Contreras picked him off at first, with Anthony Rizzo applying the tag.

Contreras was caught stealing second to end the top of the fourth. Austin Barnes fired a throw from behind the plate to Gavin Lux, who tagged Contreras out. The Dodgers lined out a couple of times in the fourth, including A.J. Pollock lining out to Kris Bryant at third. Bryant used his statuesque height to his advantage by reaching up and snagging the liner. Jason Heyward hustled for a broken-bat infield single in the fifth, sliding in headfirst to beat Buehler to the bag. He later reached third on aa two-out single by Davies, but Joc Pederson then popped out. A former Dodger, Pederson received his 2020 World Series ring before the game.

Bryant drew a leadoff walk in the sixth and went on to steal second before Willson Contreras powered out a two-run blast with two outs. The dinger to left off Buehler increased the Cubs' lead to 3-0. Davies retired the side in order in the sixth but did not retake the mound in the seventh. With David Price pitching, Heyward once again reached on an infield single in the seventh. The leadoff knock was accompanied by a throwing error from Chris Taylor, who attempted an unnecessary glove flip to first.

Heyward reached second due to Taylor's error and then took third on the ensuing infield single by Davies. Jake Marisnick plated Jason Heyward with an RBI base knock to right. Pederson was then beaned, which resulted in Phil Bickford relieving Price. Bickford struck out Bryant and forced Baez to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Tepera walked Lux with two outs in the seventh but did not give up a hit. Rizzo was plunked Garrett Cleavinger to begin the eighth, but Contreras grounded into a 6-4-3 double play thereafter.

Rizzo returned the favor by sparking a 3-6 double play to conclude the eighth frame, with Andrew Chafin forcing Max Muncy to hit a grounder to first after walking Betts. In the top of the ninth, Cleavinger walked Marisnick, who reached second but did not score. Kimbrel walked Taylor to kick off the bottom of the ninth. However, the next three Dodger hitters all struck out swinging, including Albert Pujols, who was on the losing side of a no-hitter for the first time in his lengthy career. Kimbrel and his teammates celebrated the no-no in the handshake line after Will Smith struck out to end the Cubs' 4-0 shutout triumph.

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