Dodgers blank Cubs, set team record
With some of their big hitters getting the day off, it was sharp pitching that helped the Los Angeles Dodgers break a franchise record that stood for 89 years.
Chris Capuano scattered six hits over 6 1-3 innings and the Dodgers set a team record with their 13th straight road win, 3-0 over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
The Dodgers, who haven't lost on the road since July 6 in San Francisco, eclipsed the 1924 mark set by the Brooklyn Robins.
"You go out there and you're just waiting to see who's going to drive in the runs and get the big hits," Capuano said. "It's a good feeling when you come to the park."
Los Angeles is in the middle of a stretch of 26 games in 27 days, and manager Don Mattingly gave his infield an alternative look by taking four-time All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzales, hot-hitting second baseman Mark Ellis and third baseman Juan Uribe out of the starting lineup.
No matter. There were others who came through at the plate.
Carl Crawford broke open a 1-0 game by driving in two runs with a single in the sixth inning. Jerry Hairston Jr. singled in the first run in the third for NL West-leading Los Angeles, which is 13-2 since the All-Star break and has won 30 of its last 37 overall.
"It's a good feeling to be a part of history, to keep winning," Crawford said. "The team is jelling really well right now."
Capuano (4-6) came up with his second straight strong start and third in his last four. He struck out five and walked only one before four Dodgers relievers closed it out.
"Cappy really did a good job finishing pitches, the whole thing," Mattingly said. "Some nice plays in the infield but Cap was really efficient doing his thing."
The Dodgers turned three of their four double-plays behind Capuano, who has been rocked at times this year. But on Saturday he was crisp and in command.
"For me, he's attacked with his fastball more and continued to use that and not always get to his off speed," Mattingly said. "I just think he's used his whole repertoire for the right guys."
Brandon League relieved Capuano with one out in the seventh and runners on first and second but got out of the inning by getting Cody Ransom to ground into a double play.
Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 16th save in 19 chances.
Jeff Samardzija (6-10) allowed three runs over six innings in Chicago's third straight loss. He gave up seven hits, five walks and hit a batter, but was able to get out of jams with nine strikeouts.
"Fastball command is going to be the dictation of pretty much everybody's outing and he really didn't have it today," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He battled and got the outs and kept the game close, but obviously the pitch count after six innings was way too many."
Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig had a pair of singles and scored a run. He has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games, including seven multi-hit games during that span. Puig made a diving catch on Starlin Castro's line drive into the gap with one out in seventh and a Chicago runner on second to preserve the shutout. He left the game after the inning with bruised thumb.
"We'll see how I feel tomorrow before the game," Puig said through a translator. "I'll take some swings and we'll decide then."
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the third on Hairston's RBI single that drove in Puig.
Samardzija escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the fourth by striking out Crawford and Puig swinging. He wasn't as lucky in the sixth after Skip Schumaker walked to open the inning then advanced to third on Tim Federowicz's double one out later. Samardzija struck out Capuano, but Crawford lined a sharp single to right to make it 3-0.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the eighth against relievers Ronald Belisario and Paco Rodriguez, but Rodriguez struck out Wellington Castillo swinging on a full count to end the threat.
NOTES: Gonzalez is hitting .301 and leads the Dodgers with 105 games played, 120 hits, 15 homers and 66 RBIs. Scott Van Slyke filled his spot at first base, but Gonzales pinch-hit in the ninth. Ellis had extended his hitting streak to 13 games -- he is 19 for 47 during that span -- on Friday. Schumaker took his spot and Hairston played third until Uribe pinch-hit in the eighth and stayed in the game .. Mattingly said before the game that RHP Zack Greinke is still "lined up" to start Saturday, but hinted that he might make a last-minute tweak to the rotation and push Greinke's start back to Monday. Los Angeles doesn't have another off-day until Aug. 15 and Mattingly is trying to keep his starters fresh. ... Dodgers OF Matt Kemp, who is on the DL with a sprained left ankle, is wearing a boot and threw in the outfield before Saturday's game. "Hopefully that's going to help him bounce forward," Mattingly said. "I know the plan in St. Louis is to start the baseball stuff back up again, start hitting off a tee and getting in the cage." . Cubs RHP Zach Putnam, who is on the DL with right elbow soreness, had bone chips removed from the joint on Friday.