Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake doesn’t start today

The Dodgers did something Saturday they hadn’t done the entire season.

They failed to score a run.

Held to five hits, the Dodgers were handed their most lopsided loss of the season, falling, 7-0, to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The same team that scored 31 runs in a three-game sweep of Colorado earlier in the week has been limited to three runs in its first three games in Chicago, including two losses.


But as was the case after their 2-1 loss on Friday night, Manager Joe Torre credited the opposing pitcher instead of faulting his team.

On Friday, that pitcher was Ted Lilly. Saturday, it was Ryan Dempster.

“You certainly don’t want to diminish what he did out there,” Torre said.

Dempster had his best start in what has been a tough season for him, as he held the Dodgers to three hits and blanked them over seven innings.

The key?

“Strike one,” Juan Pierre said.

The Dodgers’ tendency to take pitches and work counts backfired on this day.

“Every time we stepped in, he was ahead in the count,” Pierre said. “Not too many 3-1, 2-0 counts for us today. He pounded the zone.”


Third base coach Larry Bowa had an uneventful day, spending almost the entire game in the shade with his hands on his hips or at his side.

Of Dempster, Pierre said, “We didn’t put enough pressure on him. We got, what, three guys on second base today? So it’s a little bit easier to have that kind of command when you’re not being pressured.”

In the series finale today, the Dodgers will face Sean Marshall. They’re in danger of losing three consecutive games for the first time this season.

“We’re certainly capable of doing more damage,” Torre said.


Matt Kemp agreed.

“We haven’t hit the ball that well,” Kemp said. “We’ve only scored one run in the last two days. That ain’t gonna do it.”


Blake sits


Casey Blake was held out of the Dodgers’ lineup because of tightness in his right hamstring and said he wasn’t sure if he would be able to play in today’s series finale.

“I’ll see tomorrow,” Blake said.

Blake, who sat out two games earlier this month because of tightness in his other hamstring, ran during pregame warmups without any problems and was available to pinch-hit.

The 35-year-old third baseman was hurt Friday fielding a grounder. He said he had some hamstring problems four or five years ago, but he couldn’t pinpoint the reason they’ve returned.


“Just getting old,” Blake said.


Mannywood: Closed to the public

Manny Ramirez remained out of sight, but he made his presence felt Saturday morning at Dodger Stadium.


Teams arriving at 9 a.m. for the City Section Division II championship game had to wait outside Dodger Stadium for more than 30 minutes while Ramirez finished a private workout, according to John Aguirre, the City Section administrator in charge of baseball.

Westchester and Monroe eventually got onto the field, and the game started at 11 a.m. as scheduled.

Torre said he didn’t know if Ramirez would still be working out at Dodger Stadium when the Dodgers open a three-game series against Arizona on Monday.

Ramirez could opt to train at the Dodgers’ spring training facility in Arizona instead.



Times staff writer Eric Sondheimer contributed to this report.





When: 5 PDT.

Where: Wrigley Field.


On the air: TV: ESPN; Radio: 790, 930.

Pitchers: Eric Milton vs. Sean Marshall.

Update: Milton is riding an emotional high from his last start, in which he held Colorado to a run over five innings to earn his first victory in almost three years. The left-hander, who spent the last two years recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery, will be fighting to keep his spot in the rotation, as opening-day starter Hiroki Kuroda is due back Monday. Marshall is 0-0 with a 5.19 earned-run average in two starts against the Dodgers. He beat Pittsburgh in his last start, limiting the Pirates to a run and four hits over five innings in a rain-shortened Cubs victory.

-- Dylan Hernandez