LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Wood has turned a substitute stint into a full-time gig in the rotation and isn’t showing any sign of letting go.
He allowed two hits over five scoreless innings, Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez homered, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs, 4-0, on Friday night in the series opener.
“It was a pretty beautiful game, for sure,” Wood said.
He extended his career-high scoreless innings streak to 25 1/3, longest in the majors this season. The left-hander began the season in the bullpen and has capitalized after getting a chance to fill in for some of the Dodgers’ injured starters.
“I definitely feel confident now,” Wood said. “The consistency of my stuff has been there and that’s where my confidence is coming from.”
Wood (6-0) struck out eight and walked two.
“I thought it was somewhat of a victory getting Wood out after five,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “He started out hot. His numbers were high, but then all of a sudden his velocity came back down. But their bullpen was that good.”
After Wood departed, Pedro Baez and Chris Hatcher combined to toss four hitless innings.
The Dodgers have won nine of their last 11 at home, and their 19-8 home record is second-best in the majors.
Jake Arrieta (5-4) continued to struggle for the World Series champions, whose three-game winning streak ended. The right-hander gave up four runs and five hits in six innings, struck out nine and walked one.
“For the most part, it was really good, it really was,” he said. “Just a couple of mistakes came back to get me.”
Arrieta had blanked the Dodgers in 16 consecutive innings and won his last six regular-season starts in California, but they jumped all over his fastball.
Utley homered for the second straight game leading off the third for a 1-0 lead.
“The one that Utley hit out was on the corner,” Arrieta said. “That’s a good piece of hitting.”
The Dodgers made it 2-0 in the fourth. Corey Seager drew a leadoff walk and came home on Yasmani Grandal’s double to deep left center. Seager’s helmet went flying off as he rounded third and narrowly beat the tag at the plate with a head-first slide.
Gonzalez extended the lead to 4-0 on his two-run shot that scored Seager with two outs in the sixth.
Chicago got its only two hits back-to-back in the second on singles by Jason Heyward and Javier Baez. The Cubs had hit 26 home runs in their previous 14 games.
Dodgers: OF Andrew Toles (right knee surgery) and LHP Scott Kazmir (left hip strain) were transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Toles had ACL surgery this week, while Kazmir hasn’t pitched this season. Manager Dave Roberts said Kazmir is rehabbing in Arizona, where his velocity has reached 90-92 mph off the mound. … INF Rob Segedin, on the DL since April 19 because of a right big toe strain, will have right wrist surgery on Wednesday.
GONZO’S DROUGHT ENDS
Gonzalez’s homer was his first of the season in the team’s 49th game, a rare drought for the slugger. His last homer came in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series last October against the Cubs, who eliminated the Dodgers in six games. “I knew I’d hit a homer before the season ended,” he said. “My body feels good, so my swing can do things. It’s still a work in progress, but obviously it’s trending in the right direction. If I’m healthy, I feel like I can do things. If not, I’m fighting myself.” Earlier in the month, Gonzalez was on the disabled list for the first time in his long career.
Cubs: RHP John Lackey (4-4, 4.82 ERA) has an 8.00 ERA in the first inning this season and a 4.15 ERA from the second inning on. He lost to the Dodgers on April 12 despite allowing just one earned run on four hits and striking out a season-high 10 batters over six innings. He owns a 1.73 ERA against the Dodgers, his lowest against any single opponent.
Dodgers: RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-1, 3.76) beat the Cubs 2-0 on April 12 at Wrigley Field, allowing four hits in six scoreless innings, striking out four and walking three on 91 pitches. He’s held hitters to a .245 average in seven starts this season.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.