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Kuroda, Dodgers send Cubs home empty again

Oct 5, 2008 - 7:05 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- There was no Billy Goat this season, just the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hiroki Kuroda tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings and James Loney drove in a pair of runs as the Dodgers advanced to the National League Championship Series with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, completing a three-game sweep of the NL Division Series.

The loss extends the Cubs' drought to 101 years without a World Series victory and 63 years without an appearance in the Fall Classic.

Owners of the best record in the NL in the regular season, Chicago made six errors in the series and left 23 runners on base. The Cubs have lost nine straight postseason games.

"All I know is we have to score more runs than we did to win," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said.

Conversely, Los Angeles entered the series with the worst regular season among all eight playoff teams, barely scraping out an NL West title with 84 wins. But the Dodgers had no trouble with the highly-touted Cubs, outscoring them 20-6 in the sweep.

"We had a lot of people doubting us all year," Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said. "And we weren't resentful about it. It was just the fact that we haven't really played well enough to get anybody's attention."

Los Angeles will face either the Philadelphia Phillies or the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLCS.

The Dodgers jumped on top in the first against Rich Harden (0-1) when Russell Martin clubbed a ground-rule double with one out and Manny Ramirez followed with a single. After Andre Ethier struck out, Loney doubled to right to give Los Angeles a 2-0 advantage.

"James is a mistake hitter," Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent said. "You throw him a mistake and he'll hit it."

Loney, who hit a grand slam in Game One, finished the series with six RBI. Los Angeles added a run in the fifth when Rafael Furcal walked and scored on Martin's double.

"We knew we have a good team, we have what it takes to win ball games - we have good pitching and our offense is coming along," Martin said.

Kuroda (1-0) made the runs hold up, scattering six hits while walking two and striking out four. The Japanese righthander recorded 13 groundouts against two flyouts for the Dodgers, who won their first postseason series since the 1988 World Series.

"I think it's just a mere coincidence I was able to hold them the two games during the season and this game," Kuroda said through an interpreter. "I must say I didn't have all my stuff tonight. But watching those two games in Chicago and the fans cheering, I rode the wave along with the fans."

Cory Wade allowed a run in 1 1/3 innings before yielding to closer Jonathan Broxton, who struck out three in 1 1/3 innings and set down All-Star Alfonso Soriano on three pitches for the final out.

"Once we went up 2-0, we knew we couldn't hold back," Broxton said. "We had the lead and we just tried to hang on to it and keeping adding to it. It worked out for us."

"Corey Wade did a terrific job and Broxton was just phenomenal tonight," Torre said.

Harden continued a trend of poor starts in the series by Cubs' pitchers, allowing three runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings while walking three and striking out four. Harden, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster combined to allow 14 runs in 15 1/3 innings.

Daryle Ward drove in Chicago's lone run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 8 1
    LA DODGERS 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 x 3 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - RICH HARDEN, SEAN MARSHALL (5TH), CARLOS MARMOL (6TH), NEAL
    COTTS (8TH) AND GEOVANY SOTO
    LOS - HIROKI KURODA, CORY WADE (7TH), JONATHAN BROXTON
    (8TH) AND RUS

    Oct 5 1:11 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DARYLE WARD SCORED DERREK LEE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D WARD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    LA DODGERS 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.364, 0-FOR-3)

    Cubs 1, Dodgers 3  Top 8, 0 OutsOct 5 12:47 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RUSSELL MARTIN SCORED RAFAEL FURCAL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R MARTIN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    LA DODGERS 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: M RAMIREZ (.556, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Cubs 0, Dodgers 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 4 11:48 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JAMES LONEY SCORED RUSSELL MARTIN AND MANNY
    RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J LONEY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    LA DODGERS 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: M KEMP (.222, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Cubs 0, Dodgers 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsOct 4 10:27 PM
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