Dodgers-Cubs Preview

With a victory at Wrigley Field 58 years ago, the Dodgers

recorded their most recent 11-game road winning streak.

Back in Chicago, Los Angeles is in position to again reach that

mark Thursday night against the Cubs.

Though Los Angeles (57-49) lost 3-0 to the New York Yankees at

home Wednesday, it’s won 27 of 34 and owns a 2 1/2-game in the NL

West. The Dodgers have won 15 of 17 during that stretch away from

home, and averaged 7.0 runs while hitting .317 with 14 homers

during a 10-game road winning streak that’s highlighted their

impressive turnaround

“Patience is one of the toughest traits you’ve got to have,

because you play every day, and you evaluate every day, and every

day seems like the end of world when you’re going bad,” general

manager Ned Colletti told the Dodgers’ official website. “We needed

to get healthy, we needed to get our team here and see how they

play.”

The club was based in Brooklyn when it last won 11 straight road

games from April 14-May 10, 1955. The Dodgers’ final victory of

that run came 3-0 Wrigley.

Though Los Angeles has won one of its last five series on

Chicago’s North Side, scheduled starter Ricky Nolasco (6-9, 3.72

ERA) is 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA in eight starts against a Cubs

franchise that selected him in the fourth round of the 2001 draft.

He allowed three runs in seven innings of a 6-4 win over Chicago

for Miami on April 28.

One of three veteran pitchers the Dodgers acquired this month,

the right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA in four starts with the

club. Nolasco gave up two hits but walked four in 5 2-3 innings of

an 8-3, 10-inning win at Toronto last Wednesday.

He’ll face a Cubs team that avoided a four-game sweep at the

hands of Milwaukee with a 6-1 win Wednesday. Despite trading Matt

Garza and Alfonso Soriano, Chicago finished July 14-13 to record

its first winning month since going 15-10 last July.

“The good thing is I feel like we were incredibly productive

this month,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “Made a lot of deals,

I feel like we got a lot better as an organization this

month.”

Anthony Rizzo, who hit a two-run homer Wednesday, is 7 for 17 in

five games after going 0 for 12 in the previous three. He went 1

for 2 with a double against Nolasco in April.

Teammate David DeJesus went 7 for 16 with six RBIs in the

series.

Starlin Castro, who also homered Wednesday, is 6 for 15 against

Nolasco.

Chicago rookie Chris Rusin (1-0, 2.93) looks to build on the

best of his 10 major league starts when he takes the mound in the

opener. The left-hander allowed three hits in seven innings while

not factoring in the decision of a 1-0 win at San Francisco on

Saturday.

“Each outing I feel more comfortable,” Rusin told the Cubs’

official website after his third start this year. “I’m not as

nervous as I was.”

He won’t need to worry about facing injured Los Angeles center

fielder Matt Kemp, who could remain out until September with an

ankle injury that’s sidelined him since July 21.

Teammate Hanley Ramirez is batting .433 with seven homers and 19

RBIs while hitting safely in 20 of his last 21 road contests.

Ramirez went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts Wednesday after reaching

base safely in 37 straight games.