A four-game series between two of the best teams in the National League was always going to be intriguing, and the series got off to a great start for the Dodgers as they rode a gritty pitching performance and power bats to a 7-3 victory over the Cubs.
Clayton Kershaw was on the mound for the Dodgers and he got off to an inauspicious start as the first pitch he threw was hit by Kyle Schwarber for a no-doubt dinger. In the same inning he gave up a walk, double, and single to plate another run and put the Dodgers behind 2-0 early.
The next run also belonged to the Cubs, as Kris Bryant led off the 3rd with a dinger for a 3-0 lead and things looked rather dire. However, Kershaw allowed just two singles and a walk after that, keeping the Dodgers in the game.
On the night, Kershaw struck out eight in six innings, allowing the three runs on seven hits and two walks.
So it wasn’t his best outing, but he settled and kept the Dodgers within striking distance, and that paid off in a hurry.
In the 4th, David Freese hit a one-out single off Jon Lester‘s calf, which at least seemed to unsettle him as he was rolling until that point. However, he proceeded to give up a two-run dong to Cody Bellinger, his 21st of the year. Lester followed by allowing a single to Chris Taylor and then Max Muncy donged, his 16th of the year, for another two runs to put the Dodgers ahead,
The Dodgers did it again in the 5th with two outs, as Justin Turner singled and then Freese followed with another two-run bomb, his 8th on the year.
As insurance, Bellinger added his 22nd dong of the year in the 7th, this time a solo shot.
Julio Urias relieved Kershaw in the 7th and ended up getting the save after he went three scoreless. Urias surrendered just a single and a walk as he generally cruised in seeing the game out.
The Dodgers improve to 46-23 on the season, a 108-win pace, and are still 9.5 games ahead of the Rockies and Diamondbacks in the NL West. They are tied with the Astros and Twins on games for the best record in the MLB.