Aug.5, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) crosses the plate for a run in the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Dodgers Vs. Cubs: L.A. Sweeps Chicago With Walk-Off Win

The Dodgers won four of six games against the Cubs this season.

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Dodgers Vs. Cubs Final Score: Hanley Ramirez Walk-Off Completes Sweep, 7-6

The Los Angeles Dodgers completed their three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs on Sunday with a 7-6 win, ended by a walk-off single by Hanley Ramirez in the ninth inning.

Ramirez was the third straight batter to reach base against Shawn Camp, scoring Matt Kemp from third base. It was the first walk-off hit for Ramirez as a Dodger.

"When you play in front of your crowd and hear that noise, that moment just pumps you up," Kemp said. "That's something I was looking for in coming here."

The game saw a bottom of the ninth thanks to Anthony Rizzo, who hit a game-tying solo home run off closer Kenley Jansen int he ninth inning. Rizzo went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs on the day.

Andre Ethier went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI, both drive in on his seventh inning double off James Russell. It was the first RBI for Ethier since July 22, and snapped a 7-for-65 slump against southpaws.

"Every bullpen we face has three or four lefties it seems," joked Ethier after the game.

Joe Blanton got a no-decision in his debut as a Dodger, but looked solid in allowing two runs in six innings. He did tie a season high with three walks but manager Don Mattingly chalked that up to a tight strike zone from home plate umpire Dale Scott.

"When you throw the ball right over the plate right at the knees, you expect to get those calls," Mattingly said. "But it was tight both ways."

The Dodgers remain a half-game out of first place in the National League West, and welcome the Rockies to town Monday night for a three-game series. Chris Capuano starts the opener for Los Angeles, against Drew Pomeranz for Colorado.

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Rubby De La Rosa Suffers Groin Injury In Rehab Start, Day-To-Day

Rubby De La Rosa had been making great progress in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, but his minor league rehab assignment hit a snag on Saturday night, as the Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander suffered a groin injury.

De La Rosa was making his second rehab start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday, and pitched two scoreless innings, with one walk and four strikeouts. But he said he felt something in his groin for a few pitches, and had to come out of the game.

He is in Los Angeles on Sunday to be examined by team doctors, and De La Rosa is listed as day-to-day.

Manager Don Mattingly said De La Rosa could be used out of the bullpen in September, assuming his rehab continues and progresses well, but that any production from the right-hander would be a welcome surprise.

"I wasn't really thinking about it. Rubby was going to be a bonus," Mattingly said. "To sit here and count on Rubby
doesn't make sense to me. If he has a chance to be a part of something, great. But we're not 100% there yet."

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Dodgers Vs. Cubs Final Score: Clayton Kershaw Shuts Down Chicago In 3-1 L.A. Win

The Los Angeles Dodgers are managing to keep pace admirably in the National League West. On Saturday night, they won their second straight game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium, 3-1, to stay just a half-game out of first place in the division.

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw held the Cubs to just three hits and two walks over seven innings of work, while striking out seven, to improve to 9-6 with a 2.88 ERA.

The Cubs actually took a brief lead in the game when Alfonso Soriano hit an RBI double off of Kershaw in the fourth inning to make it 1-0 Chicago. The Dodgers made sure that lead was short-lived, as Matt Kemp launched his 16th home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth to put L.A. on top, 2-1.

Shane Victorino hit a double and scored on a fielding error in the eighth to give the Dodgers a big insurance run. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 21st save of 2012.

The Dodgers will go for the three-game sweep on Sunday.

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Dodgers Vs. Cubs Game Preview: Clayton Kershaw Looks For Second Straight Win

The Los Angeles Dodgers look for their second straight win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night, and they have a pitching matchup tilted in their favor. Clayton Kershaw , who shut out the Giants in San Francisco last Sunday, looks for his eighth win of the season.

Kershaw allowed eight runs in St. Louis on July 24, but in three of his last four starts he has allowed one run or less.

The Dodgers won the series opener Friday night behind a great starting pitching performance from Chad Billingsley, who allowed one run in seven innings, and A.J. Ellis, who hit two home runs for the first time in his career.

Chris Volstad, who starts for the Cubs on Saturday, last won a game on July 10.

In 2011.

Since then, Volstad has made 20 starts at the major league level, mixed in between three separate demotions to Triple A Iowa. The Cubs have lost 17 of those 20 games, and Volstad during that span is 0-12 with a 5.68 ERA. This season has been even worse, with nine starts, seven losses, and a 7.94 ERA.

Volstad has one quality start this season, and that came on April 14 when one of his four runs allowed in six innings was unearned.

The Dodgers and Cubs have split four games so far this season.

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Dodgers Vs. Cubs Final Score: A.J. Ellis Homers Twice In 6-1 Win

A.J. Ellis homered twice and drove in three runs, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium. It was the first multi-homer game in Ellis's career.

The offense backed Chad Billingsley, who pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run. Billingsley struck out seven and allowed just four hits and two walks, winning his third consecutive game. Billingsley since returning from the disabled list has allowed two runs in three starts.

Ellis also had an RBI single in the game. Hanley Ramirez was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs batted in, his first home hits as a Dodger. James Loney added an RBI double for the Dodgers as well.

Clayton Kershaw gets the start for the Dodgers in the second game of the series on Saturday night, facing Chris Volstad for Chicago.

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Joe Blanton Trade: Expected To Join Dodgers Saturday

The Los Angeles Dodgers added some much needed depth to their starting rotation on Friday with the acquisition of Joe Blanton from the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later. He is expected to arrive in Los Angeles Saturday, though it hasn't yet been decided when he will pitch.

Blanton started on July 28 and was scheduled to start for the Phillies on Friday night. Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers on Saturday, then manager Don Mattingly has the option to shuffle his rotation based on upcoming matchups. Blanton will take Stephen Fife's spot in the rotation, which was scheduled to come up Tuesday. But Aaron Harang and/or Chris Capuano could be pushed back a day to fit Blanton in on Sunday or Monday.

Either way, the Dodgers will likely option Fife on Saturday to add another reliever to the bullpen, at least until the day Blanton is slated to make his Dodgers debut.

"He brings a strike thrower for sure," said Mattingly. "He's been in Philadelphia, a tough city. He's pitched in the World Series."

General manager Ned Colletti said he had talks with the Phillies about Blanton on Monday, a day before the non-waiver trade deadline. But he couldn't work out a package deal with Shane Victorino, whom the Dodgers acquired on Tuesday.

"It got a little complicated, so we decided to to stay with the original plan to acquire Shane, then we'll see what transpires," Colletti said.

What transpired was the Dodgers upgrading their starting rotation.

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Dodgers' Ted Lilly Scratched From Rehab Start

It's a good thing the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for starting pitcher Joe Blanton on Friday, because it looks like Ted Lilly won't be returning anytime soon. Lilly was scratched from his scheduled rehab start on Friday with Class A Rancho Cucamonga, with left shoulder pain.

"It wasn't getting to where I can draw my arm back without it catching," Lilly said.

Lilly, who last pitched for the Dodgers on May 23, threw two scoreless innings for Rancho Cucamonga in his first rehab start. He was scheduled to throw two more rehab starts, then possibly return to the Dodgers as soon as August 13. But that won't happen now.

"Some of the similar pains were coming back," said manager Don Mattingly. "I kind of knew the other day that Teddy wasn't feeling quite right."

Lilly said he hopes to throw a bullpen session in the next couple of days, though he admitted that he was frustrated at his latest setback, which casts some doubt over whether or not Lilly will pitch again this season.

"It can drive you a little crazy. Guys deal with it all the time. I'm not the only one," Lilly said.

Though relieving this season hasn't been considered yet as a viable option for Lilly, he said he would not be opposed to the idea if it meant helping the team.

"I would do whatever they asked me to do," Lilly said. "I would do whatever they felt gave us the best chance to win the division, then to go on and continue to win from there."

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Dodgers Vs. Cubs Starting Lineups: Hanley Ramirez Makes First Start At Shortstop

The Los Angeles Dodgers and their new look lineup look to make some noise in the National League West, beginning with a three-game weekend series against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium. Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino each look for their first home hit since joining the club.

Ramirez is making his first start of the season at shortstop, after playing third base all season. He played shortstop on Wednesday after switching from third base in the fifth inning on a double switch.

The Dodgers host the Cubs (43-60) and Rockies (38-65) at home, followed by the Marlins (48-57) on the road for their next nine games, a chance to improve their place in the standings, currently a half-game behind San Francisco in the National League West.

Ramirez is 6-for-12 with a double against Jeff Samardzija, starting for the Cubs on Friday night, while Victorino is 2-for-4 with a home run, a triple, and a walk against the right-hander. Chad Billingsley gets the start for the Dodgers. Here are Friday's starting lineups from Dodger Stadium:

Cubs (43-60)

DeJesus CF
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Lahair RF
Clevenger C
Barney 2B
Valbuena 3B
Samardzija P

Dodgers (56-50)

Victorino LF
Ellis 2B
Kemp CF
Ethier RF
Ramirez SS
Loney 1B
Cruz 3B
Ellis C
Billingsley P

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MLB Standings: Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks Wage 3-Team Battle In NL West

The Los Angeles Dodgers welcome the Chicago Cubs to town for a weekend series at Dodger Stadium, looking to play their way back into first place in the National League West. The Dodgers begin play Friday embroiled in a three-team race in the division, a half-game behind the San Francisco Giants.

National League West Standings
Team W-L Pct GB This Weekend
Giants 56-49 .533 --- at Colorado
Dodgers 56-50 .528 ½ vs. Cubs
Diamondbacks 54-51 .514 2 at Phillies
Padres 44-63 .411 13 vs. Mets
Rockies 38-65 .369 17 vs. San Francisco

The Arizona Diamondbacks swept the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium earlier in the week and have clawed their way back into the division race. Arizona has the best run differential in the division (+44), ahead of the Dodgers (+5) and Giants (-3). Arizona heads to Philadelphia to battle the Phillies, while the Giants head to Coors Field to take on the Rockies.

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Dodgers Vs. Cubs Game Preview: Chad Billingsley Goes For Third Straight Win

The Los Angeles Dodgers look for better showing this weekend after opening their nine-game homestand with a series sweep at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers welcome the Chicago Cubs to Dodger Stadium for a three-game series.

The Dodgers lost two of three to the Cubs in May, but look to capture the opener on Friday night with Chad Billingsley on the mound. Billingsley has allowed just one run in his two starts since returning from the disabled list and on Friday looks for his third straight win.

In four July starts Billingsley had 19 strikeouts and just one walk, and a 2.84 ERA. He allowed four runs in six innings in a loss to the Cubs on May 4 at Wrigley Field.

The two newest Dodgers on offense, Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino, have yet to experience success in front of their new home fans. Ramirez, who hit .333 with a home run, a triple, a double, and seven RBI in his first six games as a Dodger, all on the road, went 0-for-10 in the three games against the Diamondbacks. Shane Victorino arrived on Wednesday and just played one game with the Dodgers, but went 0-for-4 in the series finale.

Even after getting swept, the Dodgers are just a half game behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. Manager Don Mattingly said the Dodgers don't have time to worry about those losses to Arizona.

2012 Dodgers vs. Cubs
May 4: Chicago 5, LA 4
May 5: LA 5, Chicago 1
May 6: Chicago 4, LA 3

"Guys in this business, they turn the page. You have to turn the page and move on," Mattingly said. "You really aren't allowed the time to mourn losses, so you have to put it behind you."

Jeff Samardzija gets the start in the opener for the Cubs, looking to carry over his July success into August. He allowed seven runs in five starts, with a 2-1 record and a 1.91 ERA, with 36 strikeouts and 13 walks in 33 innings.

The Cubs enter the weekend on a losing streak of their own, having dropped two straight games. Chicago is 16-36 on the road this season, and Friday is the start of a six-game road trip that will also take them to San Diego. While the Dodgers added four players to their active roster at the trading deadline, the Cubs lost the trio of pitcher Ryan Dempster, catcher Geovany Soto, and outfielder Reed Johnson via trades.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was called up from Triple A on June 26, and in 30 games with Chicago has hit .316/.360/.556 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 30 games.

Matt Kemp has a five-game hitting streak and his game on Wednesday was the only game of the five that he didn't have multiple hits. Kemp is hitting .545 (12-for-22) during the hitting streak and is hitting .350/.373/.538 with 11 RBI in 18 games since returning from the disabled list.

The Dodgers began the season 21-5 at home but are just 8-18 in their last 26 games at Dodger Stadium.

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Dodgers Vs. Cubs Series Preview: Game Times, Pitching Probables, TV Info & More

The Los Angeles Dodgers had an off day to recover from getting swept in three games at home to Arizona, and on Friday look to get back on track with a weekend series against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium. Here is a look at the series schedule and pitching probables.

Friday, 7:10 p.m. PDT (Prime Ticket)

Chad Billingsley (6-9, 3.89 ERA) has been stellar since returning from the disabled list, winning both of his starts and allowing just one run in total. Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 4.19) gets the call for the Cubs in the series opener.

Saturday, 6:10 p.m. PDT (Prime Ticket)

Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.95) shutout the Giants in San Francisco on Sunday, and looks for his ninth win of the year. Chris Volstad (0-7, 7.94) was just recalled from Iowa to make the start for Chicago.

Sunday, 1:10 p.m. PDT (KCAL)

Aaron Harang (7-6, 3.76) starts the series finale for the Dodgers, facing Justin Germano (1-1, 3.38), making his third appearance for Chicago.

For more on the Dodgers, check out True Blue LA. For all the latest on the Cubs, be sure to read than Bleed Cubbie Blue and SB Nation Chicago.

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