Cubs, Dodgers trade home runs in back-and-forth affair

by - Senior Writer -
Kris Bryant tabbed one of four home runs hit at Dodger Stadium on Friday night. (Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Kris Bryant tabbed one of four home runs hit at Dodger Stadium on Friday night. (Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

LOS ANGELES — For the second night in a row, the Chicago Cubs (38-31) let an early lead slip away against the Los Angeles Dodgers (47-23) at Dodger Stadium. After hitting four home runs in the series opener on Thursday, the Dodgers tallied two more home runs on Friday that complemented starting pitcher Rich Hill's solid performance and led to a 5-3 Los Angeles victory. Meanwhile, the Cubs went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and and scored their three runs on two dingers.

Hill, a former Cub, was effective on the hill and at the plate, as he pitched seven innings, in which he struck out seven, and also drove in a run with an opposite-field single. On the mound for the Cubs was Kyle Hendricks, whose streak of not suffering a loss since late April came to an end. Hendricks was taken for five runs on six hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings of work and was handed the losing decision because of it.

For the second consecutive game, the Cubs went up 2-0 in the opening inning. An unorthodox 2-run homer by Anthony Rizzo resulted in the 2-0 lead. Rizzo's 18th long ball of the year was nearly caught by Cody Bellinger in front of the short wall in right field, but the baseball was dropped by Bellinger as he collided with the partition. Initially ruled a double, the hit was changed to a home run when an ensuing replay review showed that the ball descended into the seats before bouncing back onto the field.

There was no question regarding whether or not the Cubs' next homer was a round-tripper, as Kris Bryant smoked a 425-foot blast out passed center field to lead off the third frame. Bryant's 15th tater of the season regained the lead for the Cubs, as the first career home run by the Dodgers' Matt Beaty knotted the game up at 2-2 in the bottom of the second. The 2-run blast by the rookie was part of a 2-for-4 night for him. Bryant went 3-for-4 on the evening, and he provided the Cubs with a 3-2 lead when he went yard.

The homer swapping continued in the bottom half of the third, with Justin Turner of the Dodgers hammering a solo shot to even the score at 3-3. In the next inning, Beaty doubled with one out and came home with two outs as a result of Hill's single. Hill reached to make contact with a pitch outside the strike zone and poked it into left field, thereby plating Beaty and pushing the Dodgers in front. The bottom of the fifth saw the Dodgers gain a little more breathing room, with Max Muncy enabling Alex Verdugo to score on a fielder's choice grounder. The groundout came against Cubs reliever Kyle Ryan, but the run was charged to Hendricks, who was yanked a few at-bats prior. Verdugo used a perfect feet-first slide between Cubs catcher Willson Contreras' legs to touch the plate before being tagged.

After falling behind 4-3, the Cubs advanced only two runners into scoring position from that point on. Chicago was given new life when Beaty allowed a hard-hit grounder off the bat of Jason Heyward to skirt past him at first base with one out in the top of the ninth. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was not fazed by the fielding error, though, as he struck the next two batters out swinging to end the game after allowing Heyward to advance to third via an intentional balk in order to avoid potential sign stealing. With the 5-3 loss, the Cubs dropped to 0-2 through two installments of the 4-game series against the Dodgers. The North Siders will need to win on Saturday to avoid dropping their fourth consecutive road series.

Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
Jun 14, 2019 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago (38-31) 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 0
Los Angeles (47-23) 0 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 - 5 7 1
W: Rich Hill (4-1) L: Kyle Hendricks (7-5) S: Kenley Jansen (20)

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