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Dodgers bury Cubs deeper

Russell Martin hits a three-run double during the second inning against Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, helping the Dodgers take an early 5-0 lead. They held on to grab a 2-0 series lead.

Associated Press

Russell Martin hits a three-run double during the second inning against Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, helping the Dodgers take an early 5-0 lead. They held on to grab a 2-0 series lead.

CHICAGO — After two duds by the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers look ready to run Chicago's championship drought to 100 years.

Ramirez hit a mammoth homer to extend his postseason record, Russell Martin had a three-run double, and the Dodgers took advantage of four errors by the clumsy Cubs in a 10-3 victory Thursday night that gave them a 2-0 lead in the NL Division Series.

The Cubs became the 23rd major-league team to lose the first two games at home in a best-of-five playoff series, the Elias Sports Bureau said. Only one has come back to win — the 2001 Yankees against Oakland.

Of course, that Yankees team was managed by Joe Torre, now in the Dodgers' dugout.

The series switches to Dodger Stadium for Game 3 on Saturday night. Rich Harden faces the Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda, who pitched a four-hit shutout against the Cubs in Los Angeles on June 6.

Chad Billingsley shut down Chicago's slumping lineup, and Ramirez's 26th postseason home run landed on the roof of the batter's eye club in center, at least 450 feet away.

On defense, the Cubs collapsed. All four infielders made an error, including two in the second that led to a five-run inning for Los Angeles. The four errors tied a division series record.

Billingsley allowed five hits and a run in 62/3 innings to the Cubs, who haven't played like the team with the NL's best record or one that went 55-26 this season in its home park.

After losing 7-2 in Wednesday night's opener when starter Ryan Dempster walked seven, they played tight, even with ace Carlos Zambrano on the mound, dropping their eighth straight playoff game overall.

Los Angeles got four unearned runs in the second when Chicago's defense faltered as back-to-back errors by Mark DeRosa and Derrek Lee ignited the Dodgers' five-run inning capped by Martin's three-run double off Zambrano.

Andre Ethier hit a leadoff single, and when he took off for second on a hit-and-run, Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot, who was headed to the bag, couldn't reach a bouncing ball off the bat of James Loney. The single went off Theriot's barehand and into left field, putting runners at the corners.

With the crowd chanting "Let's Go Z," Zambrano then got a third strike past Matt Kemp for the first out. Blake DeWitt hit a hard grounder to second that was made for a double play, but DeRosa fumbled it — the error allowing Ethier to score and putting runners at first and second.

Next, Lee muffed Casey Blake's grounder for another error, loading the bases before Billingsley struck out. But Rafael Furcal pushed a bunt past the pitcher's mound toward second and beat DeRosa's throw for an RBI single and a 2-0 lead.

With the bases still loaded, Martin drove a three-run double into the gap in left center and a crowd of 42,136 at Wrigley Field fell silent as L.A. went ahead 5-0.

Chicago's third error, this one on third baseman Aramis Ramirez, allowed Billingsley to reach with two outs in the fourth. After Furcal singled, Zambrano struck out Martin.

Kemp had an RBI double off reliever Neal Cotts in the seventh to put L.A. ahead by seven.

Zambrano worked 61/3 innings, giving up seven runs — three earned — with seven strikeouts.

In the fifth, Ramirez, not known for his defense, leaned into the ivy-covered wall in left field to catch Jim Edmonds' fly ball. He then flipped the ball out to center fielder Kemp, who playfully slapped Ramirez on the shoulder.

Manny capped his performance with an RBI single in the Dodgers' two-run ninth.

Schedule | All games on TBS
Dodgers 2, cubs 0
Game 1Dodgers 7, Cubs 2Loney's slam in fifth erases 2-0 deficit
ThursdayDodgers 10, Cubs 3Martin's three-run double builds early lead.
Saturdayat Los Angeles, 10R. Harden (CHC) vs. H. Kuroda (LAD)
Sunday*at Los Angeles, TBA
Tuesday*at Chicago, TBA
* If necessary

Dodgers 10

Cubs 3

Dodgers bury Cubs deeper 10/03/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 2:34pm]
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