Los Angeles at Chicago

Scoreboard
L.A. Dodgers (1-0) «000040111781
Chi. Cubs (0-1)020000000291

Loney hits grand slam, new-look Dodgers drop Cubs in Game 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CHICAGO -- Manny Ramirez and Joe Torre brought their winning postseason ways to the Los Angeles Dodgers -- and Wrigley Field.

COMMENTARY
Dodgers break own hex with elusive Game 1 victory
by Danny Knobler
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James Loney hit a go-ahead grand slam off a wild Ryan Dempster, Ramirez and Russell Martin homered and the new-look Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 7-2 in their NL playoff opener Wednesday night.

"The atmosphere here was real quiet as I was going around the bases. So I think our fans were cheering back home," Loney said.

The Cubs entered the postseason with the best record in league, hoping for a fast start 100 years after their last World Series championship.

But Ramirez and Torre, winners of six World Series crowns in the AL, wound up on top in their first playoff game together. Ramirez's homer was his 25th in the postseason, extending his own record.

"I'm just being Manny," Manny said.

"That's it. I've been playing great everywhere, and I'm just happy that I'm here in L.A. It was a great move for me, just to go and show people that that other stuff that I left behind wasn't true, that I just want to come and get a new life and play the game ... and show people that I still can do this."

Few needed to be convinced, because after being traded from Boston, Ramirez sparked the Dodgers to the NL West title. And there he was Wednesday night, leading them again, even hustling hard to beat out an infield single in the third inning.

"We get a sense of what he's been doing all these years," Loney said.

The win was a good omen for the Dodgers. The last time they started a postseason series with a victory was 1988 -- the Kirk Gibson game in the World Series.

The Cubs will try to get even in Game 2 on Thursday night when they send mercurial right-hander Carlos Zambrano against Chad Billingsley.

Only 18 of 56 teams who lost the division series opener came back to win the series, including only four of 28 in the NL, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"Let's hope we get better," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Let's put this one behind us and go get them tomorrow."

Torre made his 13th straight postseason managerial appearance -- the previous 12 were with the Yankees -- and extended his record for postseason wins to 77 in a matchup with Piniella, another veteran skipper.

"It does lot for our confidence," Torre said. "We know how good Chicago is. We know how consistent they've been all year. And to have them get a lead and for us to just maintain our patience, it's important."

The Cubs took a 2-0 lead on Mark DeRosa's homer in the second inning off Derek Lowe, but the Dodgers rebounded against Dempster, who had trouble finding the strike zone all night.

Dempster walked the bases loaded in the fifth, and Loney delivered for the Dodgers.

After swinging and missing the first two pitches, he sent a 1-2 pitch over the wall in center for the grand slam that gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead and silenced a Wrigley Field crowd that was cheering loudly for Dempster (0-1) to get out of the jam he created.

"Invariably, when you keep putting people on, they're going to score, and they scored there quickly with that grand slam," Piniella said.

When Matt Kemp followed with a double, Piniella had seen enough and brought in Sean Marshall from the bullpen. Marshall gave up Ramirez's solo shot in the seventh that made it 5-2.

The Dodgers padded the lead in the eighth when Blake DeWitt doubled and reached third on an error by center fielder Jim Edmonds, scoring on Casey Blake's single off Jeff Samardzija. Martin homered off Jason Marquis in the ninth.

Dempster, 14-3 at Wrigley during the regular season, threw 109 pitches in just 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs and four hits while matching a career high seven walks.

"I sure put myself in a tough situation," Dempster added.

Lowe (1-0) went 6-1 in his final 10 starts of the regular season as the Dodgers got past Arizona to win the AL West, with a huge boost from Ramirez's 17 homers and 53 RBI in 53 games after he was acquired from the Red Sox. Lowe allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings.

The Cubs are out to end their 100-year championship drought and the Dodgers have been struggling in the postseason for the last two decades. Before winning Wednesday night, Los Angeles had been 1-12 in the playoffs since beating Oakland in the 1988 Series.

After all his successful years with the Yankees and the many eventful games, Torre was still well aware of his surroundings Wednesday night.

"I've been in the American League for 12 years, to come into Wrigley Field for a playoff game, this is pretty cool," said Torre, who also has managed the Mets, Cardinals and Braves.

Notes

  • Greg Maddux pitched the ninth for the Dodgers. The 355-game winner made a couple of relief appearances in the postseason for Atlanta in 1998 and 1999. Maddux, who started his career with the Cubs and had two stints with them, got a warm welcome during pregame introductions.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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COMMENTS
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Casey Blake and James Loney help lead the way for the winning Dodgers with a combined five RBI.
 
Casey Blake and James Loney help lead the way for the winning Dodgers with a combined five RBI. (US Presswire)
 

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

J. Loney
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
Chicago

M. DeRosa
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS3100221 .000
Russell Martin, C4111104 .250
Manny Ramirez, LF4221111 .500
Andre Ethier, RF3100213 .000
James Loney, 1B5114011 .200
Matt Kemp, CF4010011 .250
Blake DeWitt, 2B4120012 .500
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
    Greg Maddux, P0000000 .000
Casey Blake, 3B4011001 .250
Derek Lowe, P1000200 .000
    Cory Wade, P0000000 .000
   a- Jeff Kent, PH1000001 .000
    Angel Berroa, 2B0000000 .000
Totals3378787  
a-grounded into a double play for Wade in the 8th
Batting
2B - Matt Kemp (1, Dempster), Blake DeWitt (1, Samardzija)
HR - Russell Martin (1, Marquis), Manny Ramirez (1, Marshall), James Loney (1, Dempster)
RBI - Russell Martin (1), Manny Ramirez (1), James Loney 4 (4), Casey Blake (1)
2-OUT RBI - James Loney 4 (4)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Furcal-DeWitt-Loney, Furcal-Loney
E - Casey Blake (1, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Derek Lowe (W,1-0) 6722161 3.00
Cory Wade (H,1) 1100010 0.00
Jonathan Broxton 1000100 0.00
Greg Maddux 1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 94-57, Cory Wade 17-12, Jonathan Broxton 17-10, Greg Maddux 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 8-3, Cory Wade 1-1, Jonathan Broxton 1-2, Greg Maddux 2-1
Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 25, Cory Wade 4, Jonathan Broxton 4, Greg Maddux 4
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5000023 .000
Kosuke Fukudome, RF4000011 .000
Derrek Lee, 1B3010101 .333
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4010002 .250
Geovany Soto, C3000111 .000
Jim Edmonds, CF4110012 .250
Mark DeRosa, 2B4122001 .500
Ryan Theriot, SS4020010 .500
Ryan Dempster, P2010012 .500
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH10100001.000
    Jeff Samardzija, P0000000 .000
    Jason Marquis, P0000000 .000
   b- Daryle Ward, PH1000001 .000
Totals3529227  
a-singled for Marshall in the 7th
b-grounded out for Marquis in the 9th
Batting
2B - Aramis Ramirez (1, Lowe)
HR - Mark DeRosa (1, Lowe)
RBI - Mark DeRosa 2 (2)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Theriot-DeRosa-Lee, DeRosa-Lee-Theriot
E - Jim Edmonds (1, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Dempster (L,0-1) 4.2444721 7.71
Sean Marshall 2.1111141 3.86
Jeff Samardzija 1211000 9.00
Jason Marquis 1111011 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Dempster 109-57, Sean Marshall 38-22, Jeff Samardzija 19-11, Jason Marquis 18-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Dempster 3-8, Sean Marshall 1-2, Jeff Samardzija 1-1, Jason Marquis 1-1
Batters Faced - Ryan Dempster 24, Sean Marshall 9, Jeff Samardzija 4, Jason Marquis 4
Game Information
Attendance - 42099
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 56
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Tom Hallion