Monday, September 22, 2014
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Dodgers head home looking to clinch division with victory over Cubs

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[September 22, 2014]  CHICAGO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are heading home in the driver's seat as they seek to close out a National League Western Division title.

Sunday's 8-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs opened a 4 1/2 game lead over second-place San Francisco after the Dodgers took three of four in a sometimes frenetic series.

The Giants were losing late Sunday afternoon to the San Diego Padres and meet Los Angeles in a three-game series starting Monday night.

"More than anything it's a good feeling in this clubhouse right now finishing up with Chicago," said right-hander Jamey Wright, called in from bullpen duty for a spot start. "It's a scrappy team and they gave us all we can handle for four games."

Right fielder Matt Kemp went 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs as the Dodgers wrapped up the road season and now play their final six at home.

The Dodgers (89-67) never trailed after a two-run first inning.

Los Angeles right hander Chris Perez (1-3) worked 1 1/3 innings for the victory while right-handed reliever Kenley Jansen worked the ninth for his 43rd save.

"I had visions of going five or six," Wright said. "It was fun out there. I enjoyed it and I'm glad we scored a lot of runs."

Right hander Jacob Turner (5-11) took the loss for the Cubs (69-87).

Center fielder Yasiel Puig, shortstop Hanley Ramirez and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez each had two hits for the Dodgers. Third baseman Luis Valbuena had two hits to lead the Cubs.

"I'm happy about today especially after yesterday was a little bit of a kick in the gut when you have a lead and give up six in the last two innings," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "To bounce back, get runs early (was satisfying ) knowing that we had a day when we didn't really have a true starter out there."

The Dodgers jumped right on Turner in the first.

Gonzalez' one-out single into the right-field corner scored Puig, who ignored a sign from third base coach Lorenzo Bundy to hold and instead barreled toward home for a 1-0 lead.

Gonzalez took second on the throw, advanced to third on Kemp's fly to right and made it 2-0 when he scored as Ramirez doubled off the wall in left with two out.

The Cubs got one run back in the second as left fielder Chris Coghlan's RBI single delivered right fielder Matt Szczur

But Kemp replied in the third with a two-run homer to right-center to make the score 4-1. Kemp's homer was his 23rd of the season.

Cubs center fielder Arismendy Alcantara doubled in Valbuena in the third, trimming the deficit to 4-2.

Puig appeared to twist his right ankle while stealing second in the fifth. He shook off the injury, made some test runs and remained in the game.

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Puig then bolted home from second base when Kemp singled to center as the Dodgers opened a 5-2 lead.

Los Angeles right-handed reliever Carlos Frias was charged with two runs in the fifth as the Cubs closed the gap to 5-4.

Valbuena singled in shortstop Javier Baez for one, while first baseman Anthony Rizzo later scored from third on a wild pitch.

Turner departed after five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out three.

Los Angeles pinch hitter Scott Van Slyke doubled in third baseman Juan Uribe from second in the sixth to make the score 6-4.

"We fell behind, it seemed like right out of the chute," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "They kept playing. We started chipping away and the relief corps did the best it could to try to contain it moving forward. ... It didn't finish going our way."

NOTES: The Dodgers and Cubs combined for 16 first-inning runs in the four-game series, including nine between the teams on Friday. ... Los Angeles closed its 81-game road schedule on Sunday with a 49-32 record. The final six regular season games are at Dodger Stadium. ... OF Yasiel Puig came into the game batting .565 (13-for-23) with two homers and nine runs scored in six games against the Cubs. ... RHP Dan Haren (13-11, 4.14 ERA) is on the mound against Giants RHP Jake Peavy (6-4, 2.16 ERA) in Monday's series opener. ... The Cubs send LHP Travis Wood (8-12, 4.86) against Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.45 ERA) to open the final home series of the season. ... With Sunday's loss, the Cubs haven't won a season series from the Dodgers since 2008. ... LHP Wesley Wright needs one-third inning of work to hit 300 innings for his career. ... First baseman Anthony Rizzo is five hits away from 400. ... With three home games to play, the Cubs are 39-39 at Wrigley Field and can still claim their first winning record at home since 2009 (46-34).

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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