The Dodgers avoided a series loss by crushing Sean Marshall and the Cubs 8-2 at Wrigley Field on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. The Dodgers lit up Cubs starter Sean Marshall for 5 earned runs in the 1st inning. The 1st 5 Dodgers reached base on consecutive singles that scored 2 runs. After Marshall struck out Matt Kemp, Mark Loretta’s 2-run double increased the Dodgers lead to 4-0. Jamie Hoffman’s sacrifice fly plated the 5th run of the inning for the Dodgers. All in all, Marshall lasted just 4 1/3 innings, giving up 7 earned runs (8 total) on 8 hits and 1 walk. Marshall dropped to 3-4 on the 2009 NLB schedule with the loss.
There were a couple of bright spots for the Cubs. Reed Johnson continued his hot hitting, going f 3 for 4 and driving in the Cubs only 2 runs with a double in the 6th inning. Ryan Theriot also plated 2 hits – the only other Cub with more than 1 hit. Cubs relievers – Jose Ascansio, Jason Waddell, David Patton, Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg – also fared well – pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings after Marshall departed. Jason Waddell made his big league debut pitching a scoreless 6th inning giving up only 1 hit while striking out 2 batters.
The Cubs are now 25-24, 4.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. The Cubs embark on a 9-game road trip away from the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field – taking on the Braves in Atlanta, the Reds in Cincinnati and the Astros in Houston.