CHICAGO (AP) — Eric Milton pitched into the sixth inning for his second straight win, and the Los Angeles Dodgers backed him with a five-run first while beating the Chicago Cubs 8-2 Sunday night to salvage a four-game split.
Matt Kemp hit his sixth homer and finished with two hits. Rafael Furcal, Russell Martin, Mark Loretta and James Loney each added two apiece as the Dodgers banged out 12 in all, and Los Angeles finished a 5-2 trip with an easy win after getting pounded 7-0 and shut out for the first time the previous day.
Milton (2-0) took a shutout into the sixth and left with one out after the Cubs scored twice. He allowed six hits while earning back-to-back wins after going nearly three years without one. The Dodgers continued to roll even though Manny Ramirez is serving a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy.
Los Angeles went 20-9 in May, posting its highest win total for the month since going 21-7 in 1962, and this one got out of hand early.
The team with the best record in baseball, the Dodgers took control in the first, sending nine batters to the plate against Sean Marshall (3-4) after managing just three runs in the first three games of the series. The first five singled, with Orlando Hudson and Loney delivering run-scoring hits, and Mark Loretta added a two-run double before Jamie Hoffman capped the rally with a sacrifice fly.
Kemp added a solo shot in the third, making it 6-0, and that was more than enough for Milton. A former All-Star who missed a year-and-a-half while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, he appears to be coming around and will remain in the rotation after Los Angeles placed left-hander Eric Stults on the 15-day disabled list because of a sprained thumb on his pitching hand.
That cleared a spot for opening day starter Hiroki Kuroda, who is expected to pitch Monday against Arizona after missing nearly two months with a strained left oblique.
The Cubs had won four of five after dropping eight in a row, but the Dodgers pounded Marshall for eight hits and eight runs (seven earned) in 4 1-3 innings. After lasting at least five innings in his first seven starts, the 26-year-old left-hander barely made it out of the first.
Notes:@ The Dodgers called up RHP Travis Schlichting from Double-A Chattanooga. ... Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Dempster won't miss a turn in the rotation despite a blister on his right middle finger, although the right-hander will get some extra time between starts. He is scheduled to pitch Saturday at Cincinnati. ... Harden is scheduled to throw off the mound on Tuesday.
by the associated press