Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Clayton Kershaw struck out a season-high 12 batters over eight innings and Rafael Furcal delivered three hits, including the go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-2 triumph over the Chicago Cubs.
James Loney added two hits, including an RBI single, as the Dodgers began the four-game set by winning for the seventh time in 10 contests.
Kershaw (9-4) surrendered seven hits and two runs without walking a batter. Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless ninth for his 19th save.
“Clayton had a great start tonight, he’s very special,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “The most important thing he brings to the table is he can throw more than one pitch for a strike.”
Randy Wells (4-7) was charged with six hits and three runs over seven frames. The right-hander walked one and fanned seven, but the Cubs faltered after sweeping a three-game set at Arizona. Wells has dropped seven of his last eight decisions and has one victory in his last 13 games.
Alfonso Soriano homered and Marlon Byrd had three hits for Chicago.
Russell Martin singled leading off the bottom of the seventh, and with two outs Furcal hit Wells’ first pitch over the wall in right field for his sixth homer of the year.
“Furcal is a good hitter. I threw a cutter, it backed up,” Wells said. “He put a pretty good swing on it. You don’t want to get beat with your fourth-best pitch. That stings. I hate losing. That was pretty tough to swallow.”
Kershaw retired the side in order in the eighth and was removed after throwing 97 pitches, 70 for strikes. Broxton gave up a single to Aramis Ramirez with two outs, but pinch-hitter Kosuke Fukudome flied out to left to end the game.
Loney singled in Furcal in the first inning before Soriano tied it in the second with his 15th homer of the season.
Ramirez doubled with one out in the fourth and scored on Geovany Soto’s base hit.
LA has won six of its last eight regular season meetings with the Cubs at Dodger Stadium…Furcal finished 3-for-3 and is batting 27-for-63 with 19 runs scored, four homers and 17 RBI in 15 games since returning from the bereavement list on June 23…The Cubs are 11-20 in one-run games this year…Byrd was ejected by first base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt in ninth inning for arguing a called strike.