Menu

Baseball

Ramirez, Soto power Cubs to 7-3 win over Dodgers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tom Gorzelanny won for the second time in three starts after spending almost all of last month in the bullpen, and the Chicago Cubs got home runs from Aramis Ramirez and Geovany Soto in a 7-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

Gorzelanny (4-5) allowed two runs — one earned — and six hits over six innings after being staked to an early 6-0 lead. The left-hander, demoted to the bullpen after his 8-5 loss to the Dodgers on May 26 at Wrigley Field, walked only one after issuing six walks over five innings last Monday at Arizona in a 9-4 victory.

John Ely (4-7) threw 47 pitches over 2 1-3 innings in the shortest of his 14 big league starts, after lasting only 2 2-3 innings last Monday in a 6-5 loss to Florida at Dodger Stadium. The 24-year-old right-hander was charged with six runs, five hits and three walks — one of them with the bases loaded. Ely is 1-6 with a 5.44 ERA in his last nine starts after recording his first three big league victories in consecutive outings.

Cubs All-Star Marlon Byrd, who was 7 for 9 with three RBIs during the first two games of the series, drew a leadoff walk in the second and scored on Starlin Castro's single. Soto drove the next pitch into the left-field bullpen for his ninth homer.

Six consecutive Cubs reached base during a three-run third after Ely got the first out. He hit Byrd on the left arm with a pitch before walking Alfonso Soriano with the bases loaded, then gave up RBI singles by Castro and Soto that extended Chicago's lead to 6-0. It could have been worse, but left fielder Xavier Paul threw out Byrd trying to score behind Ramirez on Castro's hit.

The Dodgers got on the board in the second. First-time All-Star Andre Ethier dumped a bloop single to left in front of a diving Soriano to score Paul, and Rafael Furcal followed him home on a throwing error to third by Byrd as he backed up Soriano on the play.

The rally began when Paul hit a grounder to first baseman Derrek Lee and umpire Jerry Layne ruled that Paul had beaten Gorzelanny in a foot race to the bag on a bang-bang play. Cubs manager Lou Piniella came out to argue. When the inning was over, Piniella came back on the field to pick up the argument and was ejected for the first time since Aug. 9, 2009.

Ramirez got one of the runs back in the seventh with a first-pitch homer off Carlos Monasterios, who was making his first appearance since his start against Boston on June 18. He missed 14 games while on the disabled list because of a blister on his index finger.

Ethier capped the scoring in the ninth with another RBI single, this one off Carlos Marmol.

NOTES: Ely has averaged 3.67 walks per nine innings over his last 10 starts, following a string of 89 consecutive batters in which he did not allow a base on balls. ... Manny Ramirez, on a rehab assignment with Class-A Inland Empire, is expected to be activated next Thursday at St. Louis after his second stint on the disabled list this season. This might be his last stand with the Dodgers, but his teammates aren't sure. "I never really know what he's thinking. I mean, he could be thinking something one day and something else the next day. But he's a joy to have in our clubhouse," catcher Russell Martin said. "He's a positive guy who just loves to play the game and finds a way to keep it loose. That's what's really fun about him. So we're going to enjoy him while we have him, whether it's his last three months here or whatever. We'll just make the best of it, whatever happens." ... Ely's father, Jack, is such a devout Chicago White Sox fan that he has steadfastly refused to attend any games at Wrigley Field. So he wasn't on hand for his son's first game in Chicago as a big leaguer on May 27, when he allowed a run and four hits over 7 1-3 innings and lost 1-0.