Hill, Dodgers shut out Cubs for 2-1 NLCS lead
LOS ANGELES -- Throw the Tuesday loss out with the trash, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
“For me, it’s about putting this one in the wastebasket, come back and play (Wednesday),” Maddon said. “It’s one day at a time. I’ve preached that all season long.”
Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner homered, and the Los Angeles Dodgers blanked the Cubs for the second game in a row, earning a 6-0 victory in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers starter Rich Hill threw six shutout innings as Los Angeles grabbed a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series. Hill (1-0) allowed just two hits with six strikeouts and two walks to become the only Los Angeles pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw to win a postseason start this month.
“It’s the biggest game of my career,” Hill said. “Again, it’s all about staying in the moment and executing when you’re in that moment, and that’s all you can think about.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was pleased to see Hill, who issued both of his walks in the second inning, deliver a quality start in the playoffs.
“He still has a very good chance to get guys out, but I think that his preparedness, his guts, really kept those guys at bay,” Roberts said. “But changing speeds, pitching off the breaking ball, mixing in the fastball, yeah, he kept them off-balance all night.”
Relievers Joe Blanton and Grant Dayton combined to work 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen recorded the final four outs.
Game 4 is Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
The Cubs haven’t scored since Dexter Fowler hit a solo home run in the eighth inning of Game 1 at Wrigley Field on Saturday. Fowler’s blast occurred immediately after Miguel Montero launched a tiebreaking grand slam.
Chicago managed a total of six hits in the past two games while setting a club record for scoreless innings in the playoffs at 18.
“We’re not hitting the ball hard,” Maddon said. “They’ve pitched well. Obviously, I have no solid explanation. We’ve just got to keep working at it.”
Turner led off the sixth with a solo home run to chase Chicago’s Jake Arrieta and provide the Dodgers with a four-run cushion. Turner, who homered for the second time in the postseason, has reached base in all eight of the Dodgers’ playoff games.
Joc Pederson added a RBI single in the eighth and scored on a Grandal groundout for the game’s final run.
Grandal was 1-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs, while Los Angeles rookie shortstop Corey Seager went 3-for-4 with a run-scoring single.
Grandal said he was fortunate to homer off Arrieta, which extended the Dodgers’ postseason run of games with long balls to eight in a row.
”We had a man on second, any contact, anything, you never know what can happen,“ said Grandal, who was hitless with two walks in four previous plate appearances against Arrieta (0-1) entering the game. ”So, stay alive until you get a pitch that he gives you to hit. He’s been so good for the last couple of years just because he doesn’t give in.
“He still made a really good pitch down in the zone. I was just lucky to put a swing on it and hit it out.”
Arrieta, who threw a no-hitter the last time he pitched at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 30, 2015, surrendered four runs on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks in five-plus innings.
Seager’s RBI single brought home Andrew Toles for a 1-0 Los Angeles lead with two outs in the third. It was the first run Arrieta yielded in his past 18 innings against the Dodgers.
In the fourth, Grandal stroked a two-run shot to right-center to make it 3-0. It was the first home run of the postseason for Grandal, who was 2-for-20 in the playoffs before going deep.
“The pitch to Grandal probably looked decent on the monitor, whatever, and of course Grandal’s not been hitting the ball well, but then he grabs one right there,” Maddon said.
Kris Bryant had two of the Cubs’ four hits.
NOTES: Cubs manager Joe Maddon shook up his lineup for Game 3, moving LF Ben Zobrist to the No. 3 spot and dropped struggling 1B Anthony Rizzo to No. 4. 2B Javier Baez batted fifth instead of sixth, while SS Addison Russell hit seventh instead of fifth. RF Jorge Soler, who started in the postseason for the first time instead of Jason Heyward, was inserted in the No. 6 slot. ... Dodgers RHP Kenley Jansen hasn’t given up a run in 14 of 16 career postseason games, converting all eight of his save opportunities. His eight saves are a franchise playoff record. ... Chicago is 0-5 when trailing 2-1 in a best-of-seven series. ... Cubs RHP John Lackey (0-0, 6.75 ERA in postseason) faces Dodgers LHP Julio Urias (1-0, 0.00) in Game 4 on Wednesday.