Dodgers win 14th straight on road, top Cubs 1-0

BY foxsports • August 4, 2013

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers overcame another injury scare and extended their franchise-record road winning streak to 14 games.

A.J. Ellis hit an RBI single, and Stephen Fife pitched into the sixth inning on a day when Zack Greinke was pushed back for rest to help the Dodgers to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Manager Don Mattingly moved Greinke's scheduled start to Monday, saying he wanted to keep his starting pitchers fresh and rested. Mattingly said there was nothing wrong with Greinke, who will face the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday.

A day after rookie Yasiel Puig injured his thumb trying to make a catch, another Dodgers star was hurt. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez exited the game in the seventh inning with a jammed right shoulder after he tumbled into the stands catching a fly ball. He held his right shoulder as he walked off the field.

Mattingly said he hopes Ramirez will avoid the disabled list. He expects Ramirez to undergo an MRI on Monday.

"I just jumped and landed on it," said Ramirez, who wore a sling after the game. "I'm not feeling the back of my shoulder. It's really sore and we'll see how it feels tomorrow."

Ramirez said he didn't feel his shoulder pop. He is hitting .365 with 11 home runs for the NL West leaders. Nick Punto replaced Ramirez at shortstop.

The Dodgers haven't lost on the road since July 6 in San Francisco.

The NL record for consecutive road wins is 17, accomplished by the New York Giants in 1916. The last team to win 14 straight road games was the Detroit Tigers in 1984.

The Dodgers also swept the Cubs in a series of four or more games at Wrigley Field for the first time since 1988.

"We have an unbelievable squad from top to bottom," Fife said. "The defense plays well. Guys are doing their job offensively. And then the bullpen is unbelievable."

The Cubs haven't scored for 23 straight innings. They last scored a run in the fourth inning of their 6-2 loss to the Dodgers on Friday.

"It's very difficult to win, obviously, unless you're scoring runs," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

Los Angeles finished with just two hits. The Dodgers are 14-2 since the All-Star break. Closer Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth for his 17th save in 20 opportunities.

Fife (4-3) struck out five and allowed seven hits in 5 1-3 scoreless innings. He walked two, one intentional. Fife was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day. He said he received confirmation Saturday that he would start, and he battled through an upset stomach.

"He's been throwing the ball really good for us before the shoulder thing," Mattingly said. "We really wanted to be able to give our guys an extra day right through this period of time. It felt like it was the right spot."

The Dodgers went ahead 1-0 in the second inning on Ellis' RBI single after Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva walked Ramirez and Andre Ethier back to back.

Villanueva (2-8) allowed a run and two hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked three in his sixth start since returning to the rotation.

The Cubs loaded the bases in the sixth against Fife after back-to-back singles by Dioner Navarro and Nate Schierholtz and Logan Watkins' first major league hit, a soft line drive over the head of Ramirez.

Chris Withrow replaced Fife, and Donnie Murphy popped out to Ramirez and pinch-hitter Cole Gillespie grounded out to first to end the threat.

"Stephen was good again and he was pretty efficient," Mattingly said. "I thought he wasn't going to get out of that inning there. He gives up a hit then Chris comes in and does a nice job for us, gets us out of that inning."

NOTES: Mattingly said he expected Puig to be back in the lineup on Monday. Puig was on deck in the ninth but didn't enter the game. `'He's better today than we actually anticipated," Mattingly said. Puig injured his thumb while a making diving catch against the Cubs on Saturday. He is hitting .376 with 11 home runs in 53 games. ... LHP Ted Lilly was given his release by the Dodgers. Lilly (0-2, 5.09 ERA) was designated for assignment July 25. ... The Cubs placed INF Luis Valbuena on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday because he strained a muscle on his right side. Chicago recalled Watkins from Triple-A Iowa to take his place. He started at second base and hit seventh on Sunday for his major league debut. . Los Angeles optioned OF Scott Van Slyke to Triple-A Albuquerque. He was hitting .242 with six home runs.

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