Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Russell Martin clubbed a three-run homer, while Andre Ethier delivered three hits and two RBI as the Dodgers held off the Chicago Cubs, 9-7, in the second installment of a four-game series.
Casey Blake also knocked in two runs for Los Angeles, which won for the eighth time in 11 games.
Chad Billingsley (7-4) broke his five-start winless skid by fanning nine batters over seven-plus innings. He yielded seven hits, four runs and walked four batters, but managed to record his first victory since May 26 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
“I was aggressive in the strike zone tonight,” Billingsley said. “I was able to get quick outs in the middle of the game, which allowed me to go back out there in the eighth. I was able to make pitches when I had to.”
Marlon Byrd had four hits and knocked in three runs for the Cubs, who lost 3-2 in the opener Thursday after coming into the series off a three-game sweep of Arizona.
Ted Lilly (3-8) was pounded for a second straight start, giving up seven hits and seven runs — five earned — over 3 2/3 innings. The lefty has given up 18 hits and 14 earned runs over the last two appearances.
“Ted wasn’t sharp at all. He’s gotten the ball up in his last couple of starts,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “The key to the game was we had ample opportunities early and we didn’t take advantage of it and they did.”
The Cubs have fanned 26 times in the first two games of this series.
Chicago nearly rallied from a six-run deficit. Justin Miller’s wild pitch scored Byrd in the eighth and Koyie Hill followed with a sacrifice fly for a 9-5 difference.
Kosuke Fukudome singled to start the ninth. The Dodgers then went to Jonathan Broxton, who retired the next two batters, but Aramis Ramirez tripled before scoring on a Byrd base hit. Byrd was in scoring position when Tyler Colvin struck out to end the game.
Chicago loaded the bases with nobody out in the second, but got just one run – on Mike Fontenot’s groundout. Billingsley fanned Hill and Lilly to escape the inning.
James Loney singled and Blake walked in advance of Martin’s homer to left in the bottom of the second.
After Byrd singled in a run in the third, the Dodgers added three more in the bottom of the frame. Ethier had an RBI single and Matt Kemp added a run- scoring double. Ethier came home on Blake’s sacrifice fly.
Ethier’s single to right scored Xavier Paul in the fourth for a 7-2 margin.
The teams traded runs in the fifth with Byrd’s groundout plating Derrek Lee in the top half and Blake’s two-bagger scoring Loney for the Dodgers. Loney’s RBI double in the sixth made it 9-3.
LA has won seven of its last nine regular season meetings with the Cubs at Dodger Stadium…Ramirez had three hits…Blake went 1-for-2 at the plate. He entered Friday just 2-for-25 in July.