|L.A. Dodgers (17-9)||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||2||0||4||6||0|
|Chi. Cubs (10-16) «||2||0||0||1||0||1||1||0||x||5||11||0|
CHICAGO -- Paul Maholm looked shaky in his first two starts of the season, continuing a terrible stretch that started last year.
A couple weeks later, he's on quite a little roll.
"He's commanding every one of his pitches," manager Dale Sveum said. "He's getting ahead in the counts and putting guys away, in a pretty easy fashion really as far as efficiency and pitch counts."
Maholm (3-2) allowed one run and three hits while improving to 1-5 with a 4.91 ERA in nine career starts against Los Angeles. The left-hander has won his past three outings after dropping his first two, allowing three runs over 18 1/3 innings during the streak.
"Being aggressive, mixing pitches, mixing location," he said when asked about the run. "I would say more of a confidence and a comfort factor, getting used to everything and just kind of pitching my game."
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Matt Kemp hit a run-scoring triple and scored on Andre Ethier's sacrifice fly to get Los Angeles within one in the eighth. But Kerry Wood got Juan Rivera to fly out to end the inning. Rafael Dolis then finished for his second save in three chances, taking advantage of his first opportunity since Carlos Marmol was removed from the closer's role.
"It's always tough to score runs," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Guys are making pitches. [Maholm] kept us off balance. As the game went on, our biggest issues were those guys getting two-out runs."
"To bounce back like we did I think says a lot about our team," Mather said.
"I felt good, I just made some mistakes over the plate," Billingsley said. "As far as everything else, I still felt pretty good out there."
Sveum announced Friday he had decided to try a committee of relievers in the closer spot, making the move one day after Marmol walked three and failed to record an out while blowing a save opportunity in a 4-3 loss to the Reds. The erratic right-hander has two blown saves in four chances this season and a 6.23 ERA in 12 games overall.
"It just got to that point where we got to get him productive in some role and he was fine with it and understood," Sveum said. "Hopefully we can get him going to where give him another chance and get him going to where he can get back in that role."
The new approach worked out on the first day, but just barely.
The Cubs carried a 4-1 lead into the seventh but Ethier greeted James Russell with a leadoff double and scored on Hairston's two-out rope into right field. Hairston hustled around to third and A.J. Ellis followed with a walk against Shawn Camp, leaving runners on the corners.
But Camp responded by striking out pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu on four pitches in the veteran's first plate appearance with Los Angeles.
Maholm struck out four and walked none in his third consecutive sharp outing. He was struck on the right leg by Dee Gordon's sixth-inning comebacker, but remained in the game after a few warmup pitches.
"It squared me up pretty good, but luckily I got to finish the inning and we'll spend the next few days making sure it's good to go for the next one," he said.
Maholm became the first big league starter to win three straight games after a winless stretch of nine or more starts since Houston's Brett Myers last season, according to STATS, LLC. Maholm was 0-7 with a 7.03 ERA in nine previous starts before he beat Cincinnati on April 21.
Abreu signed with the Dodgers on Friday, insisting he was OK with a reserve role after years as a regular with the Angels, Philadelphia and the New York Yankees. He stayed in the game in left field after he struck out and lined out to right with a runner on first to end the game.
"It's tough for a guy to just show up in a locker room and then all of a sudden be in there, and then the game's on the line," Mattingly said.
|Paul Maholm gives up three hits over six sharp innings despite being hit on the right leg by a comebacker. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Dee Gordon, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.219|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||2||1||0||0||1||0||1||.270|
|Matt Kemp, CF||4||1||1||1||0||1||2||.404|
|Andre Ethier, RF||3||1||1||1||0||1||0||.289|
|Juan Rivera, LF-1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.235|
|James Loney, 1B||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.221|
|a- Juan Uribe, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.262|
|Scott Elbert, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Todd Coffey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Josh Lindblom, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Tony Gwynn Jr., PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.261|
|Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B||4||1||3||2||0||0||0||.327|
|A.J. Ellis, C||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.297|
|Adam Kennedy, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.136|
|Chad Billingsley, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|c- Bobby Abreu, PH-LF||2||0||0||0||0||1||3||.192|
|a-grounded out for Loney in the 7th|
|b-lined out for Lindblom in the 9th|
|c-struck out for Billingsley in the 7th|
|2B - Andre Ethier (7, Russell)|
|3B - Matt Kemp (1, Wood), Jerry Hairston Jr. (1, Russell)|
|HR - Jerry Hairston Jr. (1, Maholm)|
|SF - Andre Ethier (1)|
|RBI - Matt Kemp (26), Andre Ethier (28), Jerry Hairston Jr. 2 (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jerry Hairston Jr. (1)|
|SB - Dee Gordon (11, 2nd base off Maholm/Soto), Mark Ellis (2, 2nd base off Wood/Soto)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Gordon-Loney|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Chad Billingsley (L,2-2)||6||8||4||4||3||4||1||3.19|
|IBB - Stewart by Todd Coffey|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 107-64, Scott Elbert 21-13, Todd Coffey 23-13, Josh Lindblom 15-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 7-6|
|Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 28, Scott Elbert 3, Todd Coffey 4, Josh Lindblom 4|
|David DeJesus, RF||4||1||3||1||1||1||0||.258|
|Tony Campana, CF||3||0||0||0||2||0||4||.314|
|Starlin Castro, SS||5||2||2||1||0||1||3||.337|
|Bryan LaHair, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.380|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||3||0||3||2||1||0||0||.276|
|Ian Stewart, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.182|
|Darwin Barney, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.256|
|Geovany Soto, C||3||0||0||0||1||0||4||.154|
|Paul Maholm, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||2||.000|
|a- Joe Mather, PH||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.346|
|James Russell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Shawn Camp, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kerry Wood, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Reed Johnson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.189|
|Rafael Dolis, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-homered for Maholm in the 6th|
|b-struck out for Wood in the 8th|
|2B - David DeJesus (5, Billingsley), Alfonso Soriano 2 (4, Billingsley, Coffey), Darwin Barney (4, Billingsley)|
|3B - David DeJesus (1, Billingsley)|
|HR - Joe Mather (2, Billingsley)|
|RBI - David DeJesus (3), Starlin Castro (16), Alfonso Soriano 2 (13), Joe Mather (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - David DeJesus (3), Alfonso Soriano (3), Joe Mather (5)|
|SB - Starlin Castro (11, 3rd base off Coffey/Ellis)|
|CS - Tony Campana (1, 2nd base by Elbert/Ellis)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Barney-LaHair|
|Paul Maholm (W,3-2)||6||3||1||1||0||4||1||5.13|
|James Russell (H,2)||0.2||2||1||1||0||0||0||1.08|
|Shawn Camp (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||1||1||0||3.86|
|Kerry Wood (H,2)||1||1||2||2||1||0||0||13.50|
|Rafael Dolis (S,2)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.31|
|HBP - Ellis (by Paul Maholm), Ellis (by Rafael Dolis)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 88-59, James Russell 17-12, Shawn Camp 8-3, Kerry Wood 21-12, Rafael Dolis 16-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 10-3, James Russell 1-1, Kerry Wood 1-2, Rafael Dolis 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 21, James Russell 4, Shawn Camp 2, Kerry Wood 5, Rafael Dolis 4|
|Attendance - 37332|
|Game Time - 3:17|
|Temperature - 52|
|Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper|