Chicago, IL – Despite Yasiel Puig being out of the lineup and Zack Greinke getting an extra day of rest before his start, Stephen Fife made his first start in almost a month and kept the Los Angeles Dodgers on track.
The Dodgers built on what is already a franchise record with their 14th straight road win and improved to 14-2 since the All-Star Break with a 1-0 victory against the Chicago Cubs to wrap up a four-game series sweep.
Fife (4-3) made his first start since July 6 after missing time due to right shoulder bursitis and tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings with five strikeouts.
"I've been watching the games as much as I can, being away, and the guys have been playing well," said Fife. "I knew, go out there and throw a decent game, we're going to have a really good shot at winning."
Hanley Ramirez walked and scored a run for Los Angeles, but left the game in the seventh inning after he made a catch in foul ground and ran into the wall past third base. He held his right shoulder as he walked off the field.
Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis were the only Dodgers to record a hit en route to the win.
Carlos Villanueva (2-8) was a hard-luck loser as he dropped his fourth straight decision. He gave up one run on two hits in six innings.
"I felt good," said Villanueva. "I've felt pretty good my last couple of starts. I've been able to establish my fastball more."
Dioner Navarro and Nate Schierholtz each had two hits, but the Cubs fell for the seventh time in eight games.
The Dodgers picked up their only run in the second inning. Ramirez and Ethier worked a pair of walks to start the inning and Ellis lined a single to center field to score Ramirez and give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead.
That was all the offense the Dodgers would need. The Cubs threatened in the sixth inning. Navarro and Schierholtz started the inning with a pair of singles and, two batters later, Logan Watkins singled to load the bases with one out. But Chris Withrow replaced Fife and retired Donnie Murphy and pinch- hitter Cole Gillespie to escape the jam.
Withrow remained in the game to pitch a scoreless seventh and J.P. Howell tossed a clean eighth inning. Kenley Jansen struck out the side in order in the ninth to pick up his 17th save.
Prior to the game, the Dodgers optioned infielder Scott Van Slyke to Triple-A Albuquerque and activated Fife from the 15-day disabled list ... Puig appeared in the on-deck circle in the ninth inning but did not have the opportunity to pinch hit ... With Navarro's double, the Cubs recorded an extra-base hit for the 28th straight game ... The Dodgers went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base and the Cubs went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine.