Cubs 4, Dodgers 1

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hero: Finally, the Demp we know and love. Ryan Dempster, who turned 34 on Tuesday, walked the first two batters he faced on eight straight balls, but bounced back to work seven solid innings. Dempster- who lowered his ERA to 8.05 while not figuring in the decision- allowed one (earned) run on six hits while walking two and striking out five.

"To say this was the best outing of Ryan Dempster's season would be probably the understatement of the year," Len Kasper said during the WGN telecast."He was really good."

Goats: Mr. April Kosuke Fukudome went 0-for-3, SI cover guy Starlin Castro went 0-for-4, and major league home run leader Alfonso Soriano went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Key Play: Geovany Soto split the right-center gap with a two-out, two-run double off Los Angeles reliever Blake Hawksworth to snap a 1-1 tie in the ninth. Both baserunners - Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena reached on walks by a very shaky-looking Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton. The 300-pound right-hander looked so timid that he likely surrendered his role.

Comments: Pena, in his 73rd at-bat of the season, hit his first Cubs home run in the seventh off Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley to tie the game at 1. Pena, who hit his first homer since last Sept. 28, had just three hits in his previous 37 at-bats. ... Pat Hughes pointed out during Tuesday's WGN radio broadcast that Cubs' 4-5-6 hitters - Aramis Ramirez, Byrd, and Pena - have just two home runs (Ramirez hit one on April 6) in 299 at-bats. ... Dodger Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to 29 games with a fourth inning single. Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully reported that Los Angeles is 13-16 during Ethier's streak. The 1941 New York Yankees were 41-15 during Joe DiMaggio's recoed 56-game hitting streak.

Next: The Cubs and Dodgers will sport 1944 retro uniforms Wednesday (CSN, 2:10 p.m.) in the rubber game of the three-game series. Carlos Zambrano (3-1, 4.91 ERA), who tossed a one-hiitter at Dodger Stadium on May 31, 2005, will oppose former teammate Ted Lilly (2-2, 4.45). Lilly was roughed up for five runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision at Wrigley Field on April 23.

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