The Dodgers dropped the middle game of the series in Chicago, 7-6. One disastrous inning put the Dodgers behind, and the Dodgers fell to 15-11 with their second straight loss.
The Dodgers wasted little time before being frustrating, as they drew a pair of walks in the first inning against Cole Hamels, who entered the game having walked three batters in four starts this season. Hamels worked out of that, retiring Corey Seager and A.J. Pollock to end the threat.
Walker Buehler cruised for the first couple innings, but got bailed out by his defense in the third. After Pollock robbed Hamels of a hit on a sliding catch, Buehler walked Daniel Descalso with two outs. Kris Bryant laced a hit down the right field line, but Cody Bellinger and Enrique Hernandez relayed to throw Descalso out at the plate.
Hamels kept struggling with his control, but didn’t allow his first hit until the fourth inning. He walked Seager and Bellinger to bring up Chris Taylor with two outs. Taylor hit a weak grounder to first, but beat Hamels to the bag. Known speedster Seager scored from second on the infield single somehow.
The Dodgers did make Hamels work, but didn’t have much to show for it. Through five innings the Dodgers had one hit, but Hamels issued six walks and threw 100 pitches.
Hamels remained in for the sixth inning and recorded two outs, but allowed a single to Pollock to bring up Bellinger. The baseballs are totally fine, as Bellinger basically popped up and hit an opposite field dong to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead and chase Hamels from the game.
Meanwhile. Buehler was putting together a weird start of sorts. He didn’t strike out a batter through five innings and gave up a ton of loud contact. Despite allowing 11 batted balls over 97 MPH, he scattered two hits over the first five innings.
Things fell apart for Buehler in the sixth after recording his first strikeout of the game. He gave up a single to Descalso and walked Anthony Rizzo. With two outs, he got Javier Baez down 0-2, but threw arguably one of the worst pitches of his career and Baez did not miss it.
Scott Alexander relieved Buehler and didn’t fare much better. David Bote pinch hit for Kyle Schwarber and doubled. Alexander intentionally walked Willson Contreras to bring up lefty Jason Heyward, who hit the Cubs’ second three-run dong of the inning.
After the Dodgers went quietly, Joe Kelly got the seventh inning. He recorded two quick outs, but hit Bryant near the head with a pitch. Rizzo got revenge by doubling into the gap to make it 7-3.
The Dodgers struck back in the eighth inning as Seager and Bellinger each singled before Alex Verdugo got a sinker down the middle from Steve Cishek and crushed it to bring the Dodgers back within a run.
Yimi Garcia gave the Dodgers a chance by throwing a 1-2-3 eighth.
Pedro Strop got the ninth for the Cubs and issued a leadoff walk to Max Muncy before striking out Hernandez. Justin Turner then stepped in and grounded into his second double play of the game to give the Cubs the win.
The Dodgers have a quick turnaround time, as they look to avoid a sweep with an afternoon game tomorrow. Ross Stripling starts for the Dodgers, likely for the final time before moving into the bullpen when Rich Hill returns. Jon Lester starts for the Cubs, first pitch is at 11:20 PST.