Cubs 10, Dodgers 8

Cubs manager Mike Quade faced a tough decision with two out in

the eighth inning Saturday. He had righty-hitting Jeff Baker coming

to the plate with runners on the corners in a tie game, and

right-hander Blake Hawksworth jogging to the mound for the Los

Angeles Dodgers.

Quade looked at the lefty pinch hitters on his bench, and stuck

with Baker.

”I just settled in and said ‘You know what? I’ve stayed out of

the way to this point, I think I’ll stay out of the way and let

this kid have this at-bat,”’ Quade said, ”and man, did he take

advantage of it.”

He sure did.

Baker hit a big two-run double and the Cubs got a banner day

from the top of their lineup in a wild 10-8 victory over the

Dodgers.

”What a ballgame,” Quade said. ”Those kids are

something.”

Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd combined for nine

hits, six RBIs and four runs as Chicago roughed up Ted Lilly in his

return to Wrigley Field. Castro tied a career high with four hits

and Reed Johnson went 2 for 3 and scored twice.

The Dodgers scored seven unanswered runs to take an 8-5 lead

before Chicago responded with a five-run eighth. The first three

batters reached against Matt Guerrier (1-1), who hadn’t allowed a

run this season. Castro then lined a two-run single into center

field and Barney tied it with a fielder’s choice bouncer to

shortstop Jamey Carroll.

Guerrier bounced back to strike out Byrd but left after Aramis

Ramirez singled to put runners on first and third. Baker then

greeted Hawksworth with a drive into the gap in right-center,

delighting the crowd of 41,161.

”We never lost confidence that we could come back,” Castro

said through a translator. ”The way we play right now, everybody

was aggressive and everybody had confidence. We knew we could come

back.”

Baker said a pinch hitter never crossed his mind.

”I don’t prepare to go up there and get taken out,” he said.

”I prepare to go up and get the hit.”

Jeff Samardzija (2-0) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings to get the

win. Carlos Marmol worked around a one-out walk to Jerry Sands to

earn his fifth save in seven opportunities.

Casey Blake, Matt Kemp and Rod Barajas homered for Los Angeles,

which had won three straight and five of six. Blake hit a two-run

shot in the Dodgers’ three-run fifth and went 2 for 3 with two

walks to run his career average against the Cubs to .333 (17 for

51).

”If that wind is blowing out, you’re never really safe. They

found it out early, we found it out late,” Dodgers manager Don

Mattingly said. ”You’re just not safe here. One bloop hit,

somebody pops one and you’re back in the game.”

Barajas tied it at 5 with a leadoff drive in the sixth inning

and Andre Ethier added a tiebreaking two-run double with two out,

extending his major league-best hitting streak to 20 games. Barajas

added a run-scoring grounder in the seventh to give the Dodgers an

8-5 lead.

Ethier clapped his hands and pointed to the Los Angeles dugout

after continuing his career-best streak. The All-Star right fielder

went 1 for 4 and is batting .408 (31 for 76) in the longest run for

a Dodgers player since Nomar Garciaparra had a 22-game hitting

streak in 2006.

”More than anything, Andre, like everyone else, is focused

every day, every at-bat,” Mattingly said. ”He hasn’t been giving

any away, he’s been battling through every one of them.”

Lilly and Ryan Dempster locked up in a matchup of close friends

but both pitchers struggled. Dempster allowed seven runs and nine

hits over 5 2-3 innings in his fifth consecutive shoddy start to

open the season, while Lilly yielded five runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3

innings in his first career game against the Cubs.

”It’s especially disappointing, given that our offense pulled

back from a deficit and took the lead,” said Lilly, who pitched

for Chicago from 2007 until he was traded to L.A. last July.

The victory continued a bizarre streak for the Cubs (10-10), who

became the first major league team to hit the .500 mark 10 times

through the first 20 games of the season.

NOTES: Dodgers INF Juan Uribe rested with a minor leg injury and

is day to day. … Quade said he’s leaning toward starting LHP

James Russell on Tuesday against Colorado. … Dodgers C Hector

Gimenez will have arthroscopic right knee surgery Tuesday in

Arizona. … Mattingly said he thinks LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (left lower

back strain) is going to make a couple rehab appearances with

Class-A Rancho Cucamonga next week. … The Cubs recalled RHP

Justin Berg from Triple-A Iowa and optioned RHP Jeff Stevens to

their top farm club. Stevens pitched 3 1-3 innings in Friday’s 12-2

loss to L.A., drawing praise from Quade for helping save the tired

bullpen for the rest of the series.