LOS ANGELES -- After nearly getting no-hit and watching one of their most popular players traded Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers now get the privilege of facing the Chicago Cubs, owners of the best record in baseball.
The teams square off in a three-game series beginning Friday at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers took two of three from the rival San Francisco Giants the past three days, but Matt Moore's gem in the series finale stood out more than the wins. Moore pitched 8 2/3 innings of no-hit ball before a Corey Seager bloop single ruined the bid in a 4-0 San Francisco victory.
The trade of well-liked catcher A.J. Ellis to the Philadelphia Phillies for catcher Carlos Ruiz hours stunned many in the Dodgers' clubhouse before the game, but first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said the distraction didn't affect the performance on the field.
"I think we were ready to go and played our best," said Gonzalez, who had his 17-game hitting streak snapped in an 0-for-3 effort.
Southern California native Mike Montgomery (1-1, 2.77 ERA) will face the Dodgers for the first time in his career while making his second start for the Cubs. Montgomery delivered in impressive fashion in his first start on Saturday at Colorado, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning before departing after allowing a solo homer to Nick Hundley.
Overall, Montgomery is 1-0 with a 0.87 ERA in his past five games.
Montgomery, who was acquired by Chicago from the Seattle Mariners on July 20, has made 19 career starts in the majors, compiling a 5-7 record with a 4.34 ERA.
Cubs catcher David Ross will be playing in his final series against Los Angeles. Ross, who is retiring at season's end, started his major league career with the Dodgers in 2002.
"I'm just excited about going back to where it all started," Ross told the Chicago Tribune. "Being on the West Coast was different for a guy being from Florida. The whole California thing was just different than how I was raised and how things are out here."
The Cubs (81-45) were off Thursday after completing a sweep of the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. Chicago has won eight of its past 10 games. The Cubs captured three of four from Los Angeles in a series May 30-June 2 at Wrigley Field.
Bud Norris will start for the National League West leading-Dodgers (71-56). Norris last pitched in relief on Monday at Cincinnati, where he gave up for a run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Norris (6-10, 4.69 ERA) last started Aug. 19 against the Reds, allowing six runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings and taking the loss as the Dodgers fell 9-2. He struck out three and tied a season high with four walks.
Since joining the Dodgers on June 30, he is 3-3 with a 5.67 ERA.
Norris last faced the Cubs on June 10 as a member of the Atlanta Braves, allowing one run on four hits with six strikeouts and no walks in seven innings, earning the win in the Braves' 5-1 victory.
For his career, Norris is 5-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 career games (11 starts) against the Cubs.