Cubs blank Dodgers for series win
Russell hit a monster shot in the 4th inning (Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports)

Cubs blank Dodgers for series win

by - Senior Editor -

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon backed by a strong performance by lefty starter Brett Anderson. In his second start of the season and his first against his former team, Anderson finished up going five strong innings giving up only three hits, four walks, and two strikeouts to lower his season ERA to an impressive 0.84. The Cubs have won two of three in each of the first three series of the season.

The Cubs offense got off to a fast start in the first inning with slugger Anthony Rizzo's solo blast on a line drive to center field to put the Cubs up 1-0. It was the first homer for Rizzo on the season and just his second RBI.

The game stayed scoreless until the fourth inning when young shortstop hit a titanic 429-foot solo home run onto Waveland Ave. and flipped his bat in pure excitement to put the Cubs up 2-0.

In the fifth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit a RBI single near first baseman Scott Van Slyke to score Javier Baez to add another insurance run as the Cubs went up 3-0. Anthony Rizzo followed up Schwarber's single with his RBI single that scored Jon Jay to add to the lead at 4-0.

On the defensive side of the spectrum, Albert Almora made two highlight catches in deep center to rob Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager.

Rizzo commented in postgame interviews that he is excited to watch Albert Almora Jr. play defense.

"He has made some highlight plays in these first handful of games," Rizzo said. "It's been amazing. The two today - the wind was blowing and the way they were hit it is fun to watch."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was also talking up Almora in his postgame press conference.

"We played the heck out of defense," Maddon said. "Albert was fantastic."

In the seventh inning, comedian Jeff Garlin sang 'Take me out to the ballgame' for the fans in attendance. The Cubs bullpen stayed strong with Edwards, Uehara, and Davis shutting the Dodgers out through the final four innings to preserve the shutout. The Dodgers were a miserable 1-for-24 with RISP this series and stranded an insane 26 batters.

The Northsiders are now an impressive 6-3 on the season and will begin a three-games series with the Pirates on Friday at 1:20 p.m. CT as righty Kyle "Professor" Hendricks (1-0, 6.00) vs. square off against veteran righty Gerrit Cole (0-1, 6.55).

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