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Dodgers Power Past Cubs

Tony Gonsolin pitched seven strong innings for his 11th win, and Mookie Betts hit a pair of leadoff homers in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the series opener on Thursday night.

 

Gonsolin is the first Dodgers pitcher to start a season 11-0 since Alex Wood in 2017. He and Houston's Justin Verlander are tied for most wins in the majors.

The NL West leaders won their fourth in a row.

 

Gonsolin allowed two runs and four hits, struck out three and didn't walk anyone for his second straight start and third time this season. His 1.62 ERA is the best in baseball.

 

The right-hander even did a little fielding in the sixth. Ian Happ hit a line drive that ricocheted off Gonsolin's glove and went behind the mound. Gonsolin raced to pick up the ball and fired to first base for the third out.

 

Betts blasted solo shots in the first and the eighth for his 19th and 20th homers. He got hit by a pitch in the fifth and had his left hand examined but stayed in the game. He said the soreness eventually went away.

 

Hitting in the ninth spot, Gavin Lux extended the Dodgers' lead to 3-0 on a two-run shot with two outs in the second after Trayce Thompson doubled.

 

Justin Turner went deep in the fourth to make it 4-0.

 

The Cubs cut their deficit to 4-2 on Christopher Morel's two-run homer with two outs in the fifth.

 

They didn't have another hit until Happ's two-out single in the ninth off closer Craig Kimbrel. Rookie Seiya Suzuki hit a flare to right that Betts chased mightily, but it dropped for an RBI double that left the Cubs trailing 5-3.

 

Suzuki took third on Kimbrel's wild pitch and Kimbrel walked Patrick Wisdom to put the potential tying run at first.

 

Alex Vesia retired pinch-hitter Nelson Velazquez on a called third strike to earn his first save.

 

Chicago starter Mark Leiter Jr. (2-3) gave up four runs and five hits in five innings. The right-hander struck out four and walked none.

 

Keegan Thompson (7-3, 3.41 ERA) is 0-1 with a 2.16 ERA in his only other start against LA. Tyler Anderson (9-1, 3.09) has 73 strikeouts to 15 walks over 15 games, including 13 starts.

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