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Dodgers Sweep the Cubs, Look to Cardinals Series to Keep Streak Alive

The Los Angeles Dodgers (61-49) enter the new week still at the top of the NL West after sweeping the Chicago Cubs (49-62) in a four-game series over the weekend.

In Sunday’s 1-0 win to end the series, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly shook up the lineup a bit, sitting star rookie Yasiel Puig thanks to an injured left thumb. He is expected to return on Monday. Mattingly also pushed back righty Zack Greinke’s start to Monday and instead put righty Stephen Fife on the mound.

This move also gave pitcher Clayton Kershaw another rest day.

Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez

On Sunday, Hanley Ramirez left the game during the seventh inning with a right shoulder problem (jam) after hitting the stands for a catch. He is likely to undergo an MRI on Monday and hopefully will dodge DL as he’s hitting .365 with 11 home runs.

With these absences, it all seemed to still workout as Fife pitched for six innings. He had five strikeouts and gave up seven hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Fife also had two walks (one intentional). The player had just come off the DL on Sunday from shoulder bursitis.

The Dodgers sole run came after A.J. Ellis hit an RBI single and before getting injured, Ramirez ran in for the score.

Ellis said of his team via MLB.com, “We feel with our team on the road that we’re underdogs. It’s 25 guys versus the whole stadium to beat. On the road we seem to come together well.”

As for the Cubs, Carolos Villanueva (2-8) gave up one run and two hits in his six innings of pitching. He had five strikeouts and three walks.

With Sunday’s win, the Dodgers extended their road win streak to 14–a franchise record–and the longest for the National League in 56 years. Since the All-Star Break, the Dodgers are 14-2 and since June 21, 31-7.

Grabbing a sweep at Wrigley Field also came after a long drought. In 1988, the Dodgers took a five-game one and last had a four-game sweep in the Friendly Confines back in 1954.

Likely anticipating a sweep and enjoying a good team, Dodgers fans were well represented at Wrigley this weekend.

So what’s next for this hot team? They sit 5.5 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks (56-55). On Sunday, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times  tweeted that they had officially released veteran lefty and former Chicago Cub Ted Lilly.

On July 25, he had been designated for assignment and passed waivers unclaimed. Lilly had a 5.09 ERA with a 1.61 WHIP in 23 innings (five starts) in 2013 for the Dodgers, reported NBC Sports.

The pitcher is a now a free agent and can sign with another MLB team at a minimum price. The Dodgers still owe him the remainder of his 2013 $13 million salary.

Cardinals Series

The Dodgers will go from the bottom of the NL Central to the top as they open a four-game road series on Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals (65-45).

The Cardinals are coming off a big Sunday 15-2 win against division foe, the Cincinnati Reds (61-51). After a slow July, August has been good so far for St. Louis as evidenced by its 10 of 18 runners in scoring position against the Reds on Sunday as well as its most runs for a game (including three home runs) since April 13, 2011.

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke

In Game 1, the Cardinals will put righty Adam Wainwright (13-6) on the mound to give this series a strong start. He will have his eye on win No. 14–a first for the NL. In his last three Dodgers starts, Wainwright is 2-0 (1.86 ERA).

Los Angeles will have Greinke (8-3) on the mound but their win streak comes to an end with a Cardinals win (-149, 7 o/u).

Looking at the postseason, the Dodgers are +700 to win this year’s World Series.




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