CHICAGO – When Alfonso Soriano stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the first inning, he felt an offensive outburst was imminent.
He couldn't have been more wrong.
Chris Capuano made big pitch after big pitch and drove in two runs to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-1 win over the Cubs on Saturday.
Capuano (4-0) held Chicago to three hits and struck out seven, extending his scoreless innings streak to 18 2-3. His two-run double in the second gave him his first RBIs since Aug. 24, 2007.
He struck out Soriano and Ian Stewart looking to leave the bases loaded in the first, and never looked back.
"I thought this was going to be a big day for us," Soriano said. "The umpire made some bad calls today when I was hitting, but that's part of the game. There's nothing I could say."
Soriano took Capuano's 0-2 offering for a called third strike and had a few words with home plate umpire Tim Timmons before returning to the dugout.
"I have a lot of respect for the umpire, but that ball is like three ball (lengths) inside," he said. "He called it a strike, there is nothing I can do."
The Cubs got just three base runners against Capuano over his last six innings and didn't get another runner past first base.
"It wasn't anything other than a guy making big pitches when he had to," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Capuano's performance. "When guys are pitching good, that's when they make their pitches. In crunch time, with the bases loaded, he made some great pitches to get out of it."
Cubs starter Chris Volstad (0-4) fell to 0-9 over 17 starts dating to July 10. He allowed four hits and five runs over five innings, walking three and striking out one.
Volstad continued to struggle with runners on base, giving up crooked numbers in two of his five innings while putting together three flawless frames.
"I definitely feel better than what it looks like," Volstad said. "If those hits are spread out over the five innings and two of those walks aren't in the same inning, also . everything's kind of bunched up and it adds up quick."
During Volstad's long winless streak, his Achilles' heel has been an inability to avoid big innings. The problem surfaced again on Saturday when his leadoff walk to Andre Ethier in the second led to a sacrifice fly.
Later that inning, Volstad left a pitch up to Capuano, who laced it into the gap in right-center for a two-run double.
"It was a first pitch fastball. That's usually how we pitchers get our hits," Capuano said. "We kind of pick our spot where we think we can get a fastball and we kind of ambush it."
Capuano, who was a capable hitting pitcher before missing two seasons with an elbow injury, had gone just 5 for 79 without an RBI since returning to the majors in 2010.
Capuano is off to his best start since winning his first five decisions in 2007. He's hoping this season turns out better after he lost his final 12 decisions that year. The lefty has won seven of his last nine starts against the Cubs, who barely threatened him.
Matt Kemp went 0 for 3 but drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Kemp's batting average dropped below .400 for the first time since April 10. The major-league home run leader hasn't gone deep in the Dodgers' last four games, his longest drought of the season.
Dee Gordon doubled home Matt Treanor in the fifth. Gordon also singled and stole his 12th base of the season.
Starlin Castro singled three times for the Cubs, but committed his eighth error, the most in the majors.
Bryan LaHair walked twice, extending his streak of reaching base to 23 straight games, but his career-best 10-game hitting streak was snapped.
Notes: Volstad started in place of Matt Garza, who is battling a virus. Garza was also scratched from his start on Sunday. LHP Travis Wood will be recalled from Triple-A Iowa to take his turn in the rotation. Sveum said Garza will likely pitch Friday in Milwaukee. ... Sveum said that utility player Jeff Baker has the same illness as Garza and was unavailable for Saturday's game. ... LHP Ted Lilly was ejected from the Dodgers' dugout by home plate umpire Tim Timmons during the top of the fifth.