Published August 04, 2013
| Sports Network
The numbers don't lie. The Los Angeles Dodgers are on a roll and they have some incredible statistics to back up their results.
The team, which has a 4 1/2-game lead on Arizona in the NL West, is 13-2 since the All-Star break and 30-7 in the last 37 games. The Dodgers are unbeaten in their last 13 series, going 9-0-4.
On Saturday, the Dodgers set a franchise record with their 13th straight road win, the longest in the NL since the Philadelphia Phillies won that many in 1976. The NL record is 17, set by the 1916 New York Giants.
The Dodgers now aim for a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs Sunday afternoon. A win would give LA it's first four-game sweep at Wrigley Field since July, 1988.
One number the Dodgers might not have for today's game is uniform No. 66 - rookie Yasiel Puig. He suffered a left thumb contusion during Saturday's 3-0 win when he made a diving catch in the outfield in the seventh inning. He left the contest at the start of the eighth frame and is considered day-to-day.
Puig is batting .376 with 11 homers, 25 RBI and 40 runs scored in 53 games.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he was unsure if Zack Greinke would start Sunday, so Stephen Fife will step in and was activated off the disabled list. The move allows Greinke to get an extra day of rest so he could pitch Monday in St. Louis.
Fife hasn't pitched since July 6 due to right shoulder bursitis. He is 0-2 in four road starts this season and has never faced the Cubs.
Cubs hurler Carlos Villanueva has alternated between the bullpen and rotation this season. As a starter, he hasn't won since April 18 against Texas. The right-hander, who has lost his last three decisions, is 1-2 with an 11.45 ERA in seven games (1 start) versus the Dodgers.
Chris Capuano tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings for the Dodgers Saturday. Carl Crawford contributed three hits, including a two-run single, to help the Dodgers establish a new franchise record for consecutive victories away from home. The mark was originally set from Aug. 25-Sept. 6, 1924, when the club was then located in Brooklyn and known as the Robins.
It's the first time a team has won 13 in a row on the road in over a decade, with the Seattle Mariners last accomplishing the feat from May 15-June 5, 2003.
"That's what happens when you've got the kind of pitching like they have and obviously two guys that are super-hot over the last month in Hanley [Ramirez] and Puig," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the Dodgers. "And then you mix in the other pieces and you've got a pretty nice combination of a team."
Capuano (4-6) scattered six hits and a walk while striking out five, with the veteran lefty aided by three double plays turned by the Dodgers' infield. Four Los Angeles relievers combined for 2 2/3 frames of two-hit ball to finish off the shutout, with Kenley Jansen striking out to in a perfect ninth to record his 16th save.
"We just fight," Jansen said. "We have a bunch of injuries facing us. If the ball game wasn't going our way, we never quit. We just keep playing until we get everybody back. We just get back on track and now we try to finish strong."
Jeff Samardzija (6-10) racked up nine strikeouts in six innings of work for Chicago, but issued five walks and permitted all three runs on seven hits.
The Cubs have now lost six of seven on their current homestand,
The Cubs won't have third baseman Luis Valbuena on the roster for a while. He suffered a right oblique strain during Friday's game and is expected to be place on the 15-day disabled list.
The Dodgers have won the last six meetings.