Dodgers beat Cubs 7-1 behind Walker Buehler’s strong seven-inning start

Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler delivers against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning.
Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler delivers against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning of a 7-1 win Sunday at Wrigley Field.
(Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

The Dodgers extend their winning streak to six games and pick up their first series sweep at Wrigley Field since 2013 in a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Dodgers dominate Cubs again, completing series sweep with ‘straightforward’ 7-1 win

CHICAGO — It was baseball at its most boring, which meant the Dodgers were also at their best.

On Sunday night at Wrigley Field, there was little tension, thrill or suspense. Instead, the Dodgers completed a dominant three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a stress-free 7-1 win.

The 31,424 inside the ballpark, and the national television audience watching on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” weren’t treated to many highlights. The Dodgers’ runs came on two sacrifice flies, a wild pitch, an error, an infield single and a double play. There was a strong seven-inning, one-run start from a pitcher in Walker Buehler who still isn’t at his absolute best.

The most memorable moment? Cubs catcher Willson Contreras accidently hitting Max Muncy in the groin while trying to recover a wild pitch.

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Dodgers complete sweep of Cubs with 7-1 win

CHICAGO — The Dodgers completed their series sweep of the Cubs with a 7-1 win Sunday night at Wrigley Field.

Walker Buehler keyed victory, which was the sixth in a row for the Dodgers (19-7), by giving up only one run in seven strong innings.

The lineup had 10 hits, scoring seven or more runs for the ninth time this season. Cody Bellinger led the way, going 3 for 4 with an RBI. Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Gavin Lux also had two hits apiece.

This series was the Dodgers fourth sweep of the season, and first at Wrigley Field since 2013.

Final: Dodgers 7, Cubs 1


Walker Buehler completes strong seven inning start

Walker Buehler completed his third strong start in a row, completing seven innings giving up just one run.

In the 98-pitch display, the right-hander gave up four hits, two walks and struck out six. He lowered his season ERA to 1.96. And he has now allowed just one run in his past 21 innings.

Buehler continued his trend of leaning on the cutter, throwing it 38 times — accounting for a career-high 39% of his throws.

He also found success with his secondary pitches on a night he racked up a season-high 15 whiffs, fooling Cubs hitters with an assortment of curveballs, sliders and changeups.

The Dodgers lineup, meanwhile, tacked on an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Mid 8th: Dodgers lead 5-1


Dodgers extend lead after Cubs starter leaves with injury

After throwing warm-up pitches before the top of the fifth, Cubs starter Justin Steele left the game with a trainer because of an apparent hand injury.

His replacement, Michael Rucker, immediately gave up two runs after the Dodgers loaded the bases with three straight singles and got a run-scoring double-play and wild pitch.

Of note: The Dodgers are 16-1 when scoring four runs or more this season.

End 5th: Dodgers lead 4-1


Dodgers take the lead in the fourth

After getting just one baserunner through the first three innings, the Dodgers took the lead with two runs in the fourth.

They got the bases loaded with one out, after Trea Turner walked, Will Smith reached on an infield single knocked down by the pitcher and Max Muncy walked.

(Muncy was briefly visited by a trainer after Cubs catcher Willson Contreras accidentally hit him in the groin area trying to recover a ball in the dirt).

Justin Turner then hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game, before Cody Bellinger legged out an infield single to bring across the go-ahead run.

Bellinger now has two hits tonight, both of them hit hard (99.5 and 102.7 mph) and up the middle — something he’d been struggling to do during a recent cold stretch at the plate.

Walker Buehler, meanwhile, has been in cruise control, racking up five strikeouts through four innings on just 63 pitches.

End 4th: Dodgers lead 2-1


Blake Treinen out until ‘stretch run’ for Dodgers; Victor González set for elbow scope

Dodgers relief pitcher Blake Treinen pitches against the Colorado Rockies on April 8.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

CHICAGO — What started out as a seemingly minor shoulder injury for Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen has turned into a long-term absence, with manager Dave Roberts saying Sunday that the right-hander will be out until at least after the All-Star break.

Treinen has been out since April 14 because of shoulder inflammation. He had one set of MRI exams after the injury that didn’t reveal any structural damage but was scheduled to see a doctor Monday and have more scans taken.

However, that doctor visit likely won’t happen now, according to Roberts, who said Treinen is instead going to focus on rehabilitating his shoulder in hopes of returning to the mound later this season.

“I just think he feels he’s just gonna rehab it and he doesn’t need any other opinions,” Roberts said. “It’s shoulder inflammation. And so now we’ve decided that we’re gonna rest it, strengthen it and get him back here.”

Roberts didn’t want to give a specific timetable for Treinen’s return but said the team is aiming to have him back for the stretch run of the season.

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Cubs strike first in opening inning

Walker Buehler’s breaking pitches were working out of the gate, as the right-hander got three strikeouts in the first inning with a slider and two curveballs.

A couple fastballs, however, were hit hard by the Cubs. Rafeal Ortega smoked the first pitch of the game to left for a double. Willson Contreras drove him home by lining an elevated two-strike heater to right.

Buehler’s fastball hasn’t been as productive this season. Entering the night, opponents were batting .344 against it. His velocity and spin rate on the pitch have also been down to start the season.

End 1st: Cubs lead 1-0


Lineups released; Cubs scratch starter Marcus Stroman

CHICAGO — After sweeping Saturday’s doubleheader, the Dodgers are sending out their usual starting nine on Sunday as they try to take all three games from the Chicago Cubs in this weekend’s series.

Walker Buehler will be on the mound, entering with a 3-1 record and 2.12 ERA.

The Cubs had to make a late pitching change, scratching starter Marcus Stroman after he was placed on the injured list without a designation. Left-hander Justin Steele (1-3, 5.50 ERA) will start instead.

Here’s the Dodgers full lineup:


How the Dodgers are dealing with deadened baseballs

Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger runs to first base against the San Diego Padres on April 24.
(Mike McGinnis / Associated Press)

Off the crack of the bat, almost everyone on the field Tuesday night thought the ball was gone.

Cody Bellinger did, tossing his bat and admiring the high fly ball he sent soaring through a cool Southern California sky.

Dave Roberts was confident, as well, expecting to watch the drive fly over the center-field fence at Dodger Stadium.

Even San Francisco Giants pitcher John Brebbia had conceded, giving the towering shot a quick look over his shoulder before turning his back in defeat.

“I thought it was going to kill someone trying to catch it in the 10th row,” Brebbia later told the Athletic.

The ball, however, never reached the stands. It didn’t even get to the wall. Once again, what seemed like an almost certain home run had died in the glove of an outfielder. Once again, the sport’s latest tweak to the baseball had left doubts about what might have been.

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As tough stretch begins, Dodgers’ starting pitching keys doubleheader sweep of Cubs

CHICAGO — Every season comes with difficult stretches in the schedule.

What the Dodgers embarked upon Saturday, however, is shaping up to be a uniquely demanding test.

Over a 30-day span, they will play 31 games in six cities. It includes just one day off and two doubleheaders.

It will force workloads to be managed in the lineup. And it will test the depth and stamina of a pitching staff that has been strong over the first month but is dealing with key injuries in the rotation and bullpen.

“Although yesterday was a great day to have off,” manager Dave Roberts said Saturday morning, following the team’s rainout against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, “there’s always a cost.”

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How to watch and stream the Dodgers this season

Here’s a look at the Dodgers broadcast and streaming schedule for the remainder of the 2022 regular-season: