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Wolf, Dodgers one-hit Cubs in narrow victory

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LOS ANGELES (AP)

Randy Wolf knew it was a good sign when he retired the side on ground-ball outs to start the game. "I think I got out of there in eight pitches," he said. "I rarely get a lot of ground balls and I get three ground-ball outs the first inning. "Luck's an amazing thing. I'll take luck over being good anytime." Wolf had a touch of both Friday night, combining with two relievers on a one-hitter and getting a two-run double in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs for their second straight victory. The Cubs' season-low lone hit was Ryan Theriot's RBI single with two outs in the third. Chicago was held to one hit for the first time since Aug. 31, 2005, against Derek Lowe and the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. "Pretty much every lefty we've been facing for the past month now has just been on a stupid roll," Chicago's Milton Bradley said. "Jorge De La Rosa, Cliff Lee, (J.A.) Happ, (Zach) Duke, Wolf - some of the best lefties in the league going right now. If you look at what they've done the past month, they've been lights out." The NL West-leading Dodgers recorded consecutive victories for the first time since Aug. 10-11, when they won the first two of a three-game set at San Francisco. They won two straight at home for the first time since a five-game winning streak from July 18-22. "We got a little ways before we're back to form. We haven't played well lately," Wolf said. "We've come across some really good teams, really good pitching. The good thing about this team is that we have a lot of short memories and guys get over things very fast. After that Cardinals series a lot of guys could have hung their heads, but they didn't. We just squeaked out a win and you kind of need to do that to be a good team." Wolf (8-6) allowed one run, struck out five and walked two for his third consecutive victory. The left-hander was lifted after 88 less-than-overpowering pitches, getting the Cubs to swing harmlessly at strikes in the upper 80s. He retired the first seven batters before giving up a hit and run in the third, then retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced on the eve of his 33rd birthday. "Wolfie has been such a lift for us," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. Jonathan Broxton pitched a perfect ninth for his 27th save in 32 chances. Wolf gave himself a 2-0 lead with an RBI double to center in the second, tying a career high with his 11th RBI of the season. The two-out hit scored Russell Martin, who reached on a fielder's choice, and Orlando Hudson, who got aboard on a throwing error by third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Sam Fuld robbed Manny Ramirez of a leadoff home run in the eighth, leaping above the fence in right-center to snag the ball. "As soon as it came off the bat, I knew it was going to be a close one," Fuld said. "I didn't know exactly where it was going to land, but I felt that I needed to at least try to climb it. I felt like if I could time it, that would be enough, and it was, just barely." Rookie Randy Wells (9-6) gave up two runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out three and walked two. "My game plan was dead-on to what I wanted to do all day - be aggressive and attack the zone," he said. "I did that, but in that one inning I got a little too fine." The reeling Cubs lost for the ninth time in 12 games and remained seven games behind NL Central leader St. Louis. "It gets painful watching these. It really does," manager Lou Piniella said. "It's a tough loss, and Randy Wells pitched very well. Our relievers came in and got some big outs and gave us a chance. One base hit, one run doesn't get it done."

Notes

Piniella said RHP Carlos Zambrano will return to the rotation on Tuesday against Washington. He tossed five shutout innings and allowed four hits in a rehab assignment Thursday with Class A-Peoria. ... Wolf is the first Dodgers pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela in 1990 to have 11 RBIs in a season. The left-hander last had that many in 2003 with Philadelphia. ... The Cubs fell to 10-16 against NL West opponents - their worst record against any division - after going 23-10 against the West last season.
Tagged: Cubs, Dodgers

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