For the first couple of innings, the Cubs’ James Russell managed to hang with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in a close 2-1 game.
But Russell just doesn’t have the stamina to go long into games, and he proved it again Monday night, giving up three runs in the fifth inning before being removed; the Cubs scored just one more run, on Alfonso Soriano’s major league leading 11th home run of the season in the seventh inning, and the Cubs lost for the fourth time in a game Russell started, 5-2 in Los Angeles.
Soriano’s home run was the seventh he had hit leading off an inning and ninth with no one on base; he’s driven in only 10 other runs besides the 11 he’s scored himself on the HR and has only 12 singles this year (along with four doubles).
The Cubs bullpen did another good job of shutting the door after Russell’s departure, allowing just one hit in 3.1 innings, but the Cubs could get no closer.
The two teams play again tonight in Los Angeles at 9:10 p.m. CDT; the game will be televised on WGN.