Chris Capuano makes Chicago an island dream in Dodgers’ 5-1 win

It was a cold and windy and foggy afternoon. Pretty much your basic miserable Chicago spring day. And to Chris Capuano, it was a regular paradise.

Capuano had himself a day to remember Saturday in the Dodgers’ 5-1 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, both on the mound and, strangely, at the plate.

On the mound, the left-hander was masterful. He pitched out of some first-inning trouble, and then simply cruised through the Cubs.

Capuano pitched seven scoreless innings, holding Chicago to only three hits. He walked two, struck out seven and generally made the Cubs look like the lousy 10-17 team they are.

Over his last three starts, Capuano -- the guy signed to be the Dodgers’ No. 5 starting pitcher -- has not allowed a run in 18 2/3 innings.

He raised his record to 4-0, lowered his earned-run average to 2.21 and went over the 1,000-inning mark for his eight-year career. No minor accomplishment for someone who’s had two Tommy John surgeries.

And to cap of his day under palm trees and a summer breeze, he also drove in his first runs since 2007.

Matt Garza was scheduled to start for the Cubs but he was battling the flu, so they moved right-hander Chris Volstad up a day. That would be Volstad who came in 0-3 with a 6.11 ERA and who by the end of the day saw both numbers head up.

The Dodgers opened the scoring in the second inning when Andre Ethier walked and went to third on a double by Bobby Abreu, his first hit as a Dodger. Matt Treanor’s sacrifice fly to center scored Ethier home with the second out.

Volstad could be excused for thinking he was out of the inning when Capuano then came to the plate. He was without a hit this season and an RBI in five years. Only Capuano jumped on Volstad’s first pitch for a double into the right-center gap to drive in two.

That left him with a 3-0 lead, which the way he was in command, was a surplus of runs.

The Dodgers added two more anyway, after Treanor singled to lead off the fifth. Capuano’s bunt sacrificed Treanor to second and Dee Gordon’s double scored him. Gordon stole third for his 12th stolen base of the season and scored on a Matt Kemp sacrifice fly.

After Capuano threw 100 pitches through seven innings, Don Mattingly turned it over to his bullpen, which has been dicey of late.

Ronald Belisario, making his first appearance since the end of the 2010 season, came off his 25-game suspension to throw a perfect eighth inning. His stuff again looked nasty, sending the Cubs down on 11 pitches, including one strikeout.

Jamey Wright lost the shutout in the ninth inning when Ian Stewart singled in a run.


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Chris Capuano makes Chicago an island dream in Dodgers’ 5-1 win