On a sunny afternoon at Wrigley Field, the Cubs welcomed back old teammate Ted Lilly with an outpouring of offense. Lilly was hit early and often, giving up five runs on eleven hits in just under five innings.
But though the Cubs led for much of the beginning of the game, their 5-1 lead evaporated when Ryan Dempster gave up three home runs. Dempster’s line on the day was seven earned runs on nine hits and three walks over 5.2 innings. He struck out three. Two of the runs charged to him occurred after he was taken out of the game, when Sean Marshall allowed his inherited runners to score, giving the Dodgers a 7-5 lead.
The Cubs executed perfect small-ball in their eighth inning rally off of Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier. A well executed bunt, a walk, and several singles turn into a Cubs rally that not only closed a gap that had, by then, become three runs, but also put the Cubs up by two for a score of 10-8 heading into the ninth. Carlos Marmol came into the game and, although a bit shaky, grabbed his fifth save of the year for the victory.
Interestingly, the Cubs set a new major league record with today’s victory. Having been at .500 at every point this season (1-1, 2-2, 3-3, etc) they now own the longest such streak in baseball at 10-10, topping the 1951 Red Sox and 1970 Yankees, who both reached 9-9.
The Cubs and Dodgers will play the rubber game of the series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch will be at 1:20 P.M., CDT.