Cubs 5, Dodgers 1

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hero: Carlos Zambrano (4-1) won his 10th straight road start with eight terrific innings as the Cubs (14-16), sporting classy 1944 replica uniforms, took two of three in the series and four of seven on the road trip. Zambrano, whose first pitch was delivered with an old-fashioned windmill windup, allowed one (earned) run on five hits while striking out four and walking one.

"He was Big Z today, he wasn't Carlos," Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd said. "I saw 92, 94 (MPH) on the board today. He's a power pitcher, and that's what he has to do to win."

Did you catch Big Z dancing in the dugout as a recording of the Glenn Miller Orchestra's "In the Mood" blared over the Dodger Stadium public address system? It's welcome to see him enjoying the game again.

"He did what he did easily, to me, without a lot of pomp and circumstance," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "He just went after hitters. When he's got some soft game to go with his moving fastball and can locate, he's really tough. He went right after guys and attacked them."

Zambrano's last road loss came last June 25 at Comiskey Park - his infamous meltdown game.

Goat: Aramis Ramirez went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. Against former teammate Ted Lilly (2-3), Ramirez struck out swinging in the second and was called out on strikes in the fifth.He went down swinging against reliever Mike MacDougal in the eighth.

Ramirez had just five hits, including two doubles, in 32 at-bats (.156 BA) on the road trip to drop his average to .282.

Key Play: Byrd capped a four-run sixth with a three-run homer off Lilly to give the Cubs a commanding 5-0 lead. It was Byrd's first home run of the season, in his 126th plate appearance, and ended a stretch in which the Cubs hit 10 straight homers with nobody on base. Seventeen of their 26 home runs this season have been solo shots. The Cubs have hit 17 home runs in 16 road games and nine in 14 contests at Wrigley Field

Comments: Carlos Pena, who ended his home run drought Tuesday, led off the sixth with his second homer in as many days. ... Geovany Soto also contributed a solo shot and finished a productive road trip with seven RBI. ... The Dodgers' Andre Ethier, who is riding a 29-game hitting streak, did not play because of left elbow inflammation. ... I loved the Cubs' throwback uniforms. I was reminded how much I like nameless uniform backs.The high socks were also terrific. And how about Sean Marshall donning an accurate sweatshirt, complete with red stripes? Marshall apparently was bent on wearing it. The game time temperature was announced as 89 degrees. ... Another nice touch had Dodger Stadium relying exclusively on World War II era music from organist Nancy Bea and period recordings. I guess I'm getting old but the modern recorded music that's normally played at Chavez Ravine is too loud.

Next: After an off day Thursday, the Cubs return to the Friendly Confines on Friday (WGN, 1:20 p.m.) to begin a nine-game homestand against some of the National League's heavyweights - the past two NL Central champions (Cincinnati and St. Louis) and the defending world champs (San Francisco).

In Friday's game against the Reds (15-15), the Cubs will send Matt Garza (1-3, 3.96 ERA) against right-hander Edinson Volquez (2-1, 5.67). It will behoove Cubs hitters to be patient. A wild Volquez has walked 6.48 batters per nine innings this season.

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