Dodgers Edge Ahead of Cubs 1,005-1,004

Brad Penny dominated the Chicago Cubs Wednesday night, allowing seven scattered hits and earning his National-League leading 16th win of the season. Rafael Furcal banged out three hits, including his 12th home run, and Nomar Garciaparra weighed in with a pair of doubles and two RBI. The win put the Dodgers ahead by one game in a series with the Cubs that started in 1890.

A four-run fifth inning gave Los Angeles a comfortable lead and, unlike the night before, they protected it with Joe Beimel and Takaski Saito working a scoreless inning to close the game out.

Penney (16-8), didn't walk a man and was hitting 96-97 on the gun. We was in compete control after averaging 21 pitches per inning in his previous three starts. He was helped by double plays in the second and fourth innings.

Wilson Betemit provided near flawless fielding at thire base and came up with a number of exceptional stops and throws to keep runners off base.

On a cold (64°), rainy night with a strong wind blowing right to left, The Dodgers jumped on Angel Guzman in the first inning when Furcal beat out and infield hit and scored on Jeff Kent's soft single to center. Guzman is 0-6 on the season and hasn't won in 10 starts, the first time in Chicago history that has happened.

Kent moved into 67th place on the all-time RBI charts, passing Johnny Bench while running his career total to 1,377.

Furcal homered leading off the second as the shortstop, moved his average over .300 with a leadoff double. Kenny Lofton walked and both of them moved up on a wild pitch, then scored on Garciaparra's second double of the game.

Kent was given an intentional pass and Wilson Betemit, who was 2-for-21 batting right handed, lined a single in the hole that former Dodger Gold Glove shortstop Cesar Izturis stopped but was unable to make a play on.

Marlon Anderson's sacrifice fly scored Garciaparra and Russell Martin ended the scoring with a single that scooted under Izturis' glove.

After that hit, the Dodgers were 1-for-14 the rest of the game but the Cubs, who have lost 20 of their lasst 26 games, never really threatened.

Los Angeles got good news when Chad Billingsley -- who hasn't pitched since August 27 with a strained oblique muscle-- threw a simulated session before the game. After 77 pitches he announced he felt very good. He is scheduled to start Saturday in the San Diego series.

Los Angeles maintained a 1 1/2 games lead over San Diego in the NL West. The Padres beat the Reds 10-0 after losing to Cincinnati the night before.

Today's series finale against the Cubs, Hong-Chih Kuo (1-4, 4.46 ERA) gets his second start against Wade Miller (0-1, 12.00).
  Score by innings      r  h e
Los Angeles 101 040 000-6 11 0
Chicago     000 000 000-0  7 0

  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss      5 3 3 1 .298
Lofton cf      3 1 0 0 .303
 Repko cf      0 0 0 0 .252
Garciaparra 1b 5 1 2 2 .308
Drew rf        4 0 0 0 .275
Kent 2b        3 1 2 1 .280
Betemit 3b     4 0 1 0 .271
Anderson lf    3 0 2 1 .279
Martin c       3 0 1 1 .292
Penny p        3 0 0 0 .194
 Loney ph      1 0 0 0 .277
 Beimel p      0 0 0 0 .000
 Saito p       0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals    34 6 11 6
    Cubs      31 0  7 0

  2B - Garciaparra 2 (29); Furcal (31). 
HR - Furcal (12). SF - M Anderson. 
RBI - Kent (65), Furcal (58), 
Garciaparra 2 (82), Anderson (26), 
Martin (57). LOB - Los Angeles 7, 
Chicago . CS - M Anderson 2 (6). 
DP - 2  (Furcal and Garciaparra; 
Penny, Furcal and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers    in h r-er bb so era
Penny (16-8) 7.0 7 0-0 0 6 4.04
Beimel       1.0 0 0-0 0 0 3.18
Saito        1.0 0 0-0 0 1 1.96
  WP-Penny. T- 2:38. Att- 35,868.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories