The Cubs began a six-game West Coast road trip at Dodger Stadium Friday night. Chicago got another quality start and a power surge in the late innings blew the game wide-open in a big victory.
Ian Happ, who would have a monster day, got the Cubs on the board with a ground-rule double in the top of the 3rd. The Dodgers tied it up in the bottom of the frame when Chris Taylor hit a solo shot off of Justin Steele.
Steele was very good on Friday overall, dominating LA hitters for most of the game. Chicago took the lead back on an Eric Hosmer RBI groundout in the 4th and Yan Gomes doubled the advantage with a home run the following inning.
The Cubs’ starting pitcher made his only other mistake on a Max Muncy homer in the 7th inning. Dodgers reliever Andre Jackson was not sharp in the top of the 8th and paid the price for it. Happ and Seiya Suzuki, who was just activated after missing every previous Cactus League and regular season game, hit back-to-back bombs and Patrick Wisdom added a third dong later in the frame to put the game on ice.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 15, 2023
Jackson would pitch the final inning as well and Gomes hit his second dinger of the night. Happ completed his perfect evening with an RBI double as Chicago won 8-2. (Box score)
The Cubs went into the 8th inning with just a one-run edge and proceeded to blow the game wide-open with three home runs. It turned what might’ve been a stressful final two innings into a laugher.
Why the Cubs Won
They got very good starting pitching yet again and were able to punish the Dodgers’ shaky bullpen to pull away late.
Stats That Matter
- That makes three excellent starts for Steele: 7 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 8 K, and 1 BB.
- Happ had three extra-base hits, and a walk to be perfect in five plate appearances.
- Unbelievable game for Gomes, who also singled and stole a base Friday.
- It was nice to see Suzuki go deep, the first of many in 2023.
The return of Suzuki to the lineup makes it much deeper. The Cubs were able to score eight runs even with Dansby Swanson striking out five times. If the offense can begin to click and the pitching staff can continue to perform well Chicago might be on to something this season.